Seagrapes and White Pelicans: October Species Spotlight

It's time for the return of the original snowbirds and picking the ripened seagrapes.

White Pelicans Return

Take a pontoon tour to welcome back the original "snowbirds" at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. Our pontoon tours will give you a front-row seat to the beautiful white flocks of pelicans that return to this small island each year.

As the water in Canada starts to freeze, the white pelicans will make their non-stop migration south in October. Known as one of the largest birds in North America, their wingspan can reach 9 feet! Despite their large size, they are spectacular fliers and make their long migration south in large flocks that travel by day.

You can differentiate between the white pelican, and their cousins the brown pelican, not only by their color but also their feeding techniques. White pelicans feed on the surface of the water, dipping their head into the water to catch fish and sometimes upending themselves like a duck. They do not plunge-dive like brown pelicans. Once a threatened species, the population has substantially increased since the 1970s.

Learn more here:


The end of summer and beginning of fall brings those perfectly ripened seagrapes, ready for picking! Although some people might let them fall to the ground, there are many who will gather just the right amount to make jam and even wine. Collecting food from nature is always a treat, but please be reminded that we share this edible goodness with the local wildlife that depends on them for sustenance - and can't head to the supermarket when it runs out.

Here are some links to jelly and wine recipes. If you try it, please let us know! Send us a picture to:


Seagrape Jelly

Seagrape Wine

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