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Boreal Community Media

Pelicans make rare visit to Isle Royale National Park

Jun 25, 2018 12:47PM ● By Editor

By Brandon Champion of - June 25, 2018

ISLE ROYALE - Isle Royale National Park may be known for its wolf and moose populations, but it was a different kind of animal that stole the spotlight over the weekend.

Thanks to record-high temperatures and storms throughout Michigan last week, the sprawling island wilderness in Lake Superior has become the temporary home for a pair of white pelicans. That's right, the large, mostly-tropical bird commonly seen in southern U.S. states.

The seldom-seen visitors to Michigan and their massive nine-foot wingspans were spotted in Isle Royale's Washington Harbor.

"Every now and then, something unexpected happens," a post on the park's Facebook page reads. "...these massive birds are hard to miss, floating like majestic white galleons near the docks and down the creek, gathering a fan club of watchers wherever they go."

Park staff theorize that pelicans may have settled on Isle Royale as shelter from recent Great Lakes storms or that may have followed schools of herring that roil the harbor waters. They don't expect them to stay long, though.

"After posing for the paparazzi, our celebrities will likely be on their way, headed to their more northerly summering grounds," the post reads.