Brown Pelican visited
Ayer Lake July 18 - 24

     For a memorable week in July, photographers and visitors alike delighted in seeing a particularly unusual bird preening along the short of Ayer Lake. When he wasn't preening, he was flapping over the surface of the water or plunging suddenly into the water to catch unwary fish.
     A migrating Brown Pelican arrived July 18 and stayed at the Lake for about a week, departing sometime after July 24. It was first photographed by Arboretum volunteer Rich Bergmark shortly after dawn on the 18th. Pelicans are unusual in Arizona, more often seen during Winter at large bodies of water such as San Carlos Lake or Roosevelt Lake. The specie has not been previously reported here at the Arboretum, and this appeared to be a young bird which likely continued on its way after a respite to feed and rest at Ayer Lake. Photos on this page were taken by Arizona State Parks Volunteers Rich Bergmark and Philip Lowe, and also Arboretum Horticulturist Kim Stone and groundskeeper Tammy Knight. The bird was most active right after opening hour at 6:00 a.m. and for the first few hours after sunrise.