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I went out and fished along the sod banks last evening and had a lone pelican land just outside of casting range. He/she stayed for 15 minutes or so and headed for the Causeway bridge to LBI. It seemed awful early as it's late May or June before we've seen any in previous years. Anyone else sighted any this early?
 

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I can't remember when I've seen a pelican that far north. We used to have oodles of them in the Chesapeake but LBI in April - that's pretty noteworthy.
 

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I saw pelicans repeatedly while surf fishing the CISP area last fall. After conferring with some of the pointy-headed types down at the Cape May Bird Observatory, I learned that brown pelicans have been extending their range north for the last 10 or 15 years, and there is now an established (if small) population that summers in New Jersey. And it's actually not early: it's about time for the summer residents (like ospreys and laughing gulls) to arrive. So your eyes were not deceiving you.
 

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yeah it seems I see more and more every year. There seem to be a good amount. Love seeing them when Im out surfing but sometimes mistake them for a shark fin.
 

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My in-laws live in Cape May and they told me that they saw a pelican several weeks ago by the ferry. Sure they frequent our shores during the summer, but in March? Maybe it's the global warming thing.

Tight Lines & Safe Returns,
Saltshaker
 

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over the last few years I have seem probably more than a hundred around LEI during the late summer and fall. It is very cool to see. I don't think the 2 degree temp warming over the last 10 years has anything to do with it though.

Mabe a global swarming thing. They go where the food is.
 

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I saw them in Surf City when I was a guard and they where always flying in a pack of probably 10 plus - bathers got spooked when they cruised 15 or 20 ft over them - it was entertainement for me
 

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I was just poking around the NJ Audubon Society website, and it seems that the fall of the brown pelican population in the 1980s was due to the presence of bunker factories in Jersey. Bunker make up a large portion of the pelican's diet -- that would explain why you see them flying just off the water while surf fishing in the fall -- and their numbers fell when the commercial harvest of bunker was at its greatest. When the bunker factories closed, the pelican population increased.

The other thing I found on the website is that how early the pelicans arrive in spring is usually dictated by the presence of bunker. When the pogies arrive, the pelicans are just behind them. So if there are pelicans around now, that means there's bait in the water. So the striped ones are either here now or will be here very soon.

I'll remember that for future springs. See pelican = go fishing for stripers....
 

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There were always a ton of them on the Sand Bars in Barnegate Inlet on the back side of Island Beach. I haven't been up there in a couple of years, but when the tide was out, it was a site to see...
 

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Amazing bird, the pelican
his beak holds as much as his belly can
He can hold in his beak enough food for a week
and nobody knows how the hell he can
 

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saw a bunch this morning, but they were FAR from Tuckerton. Have not seen them in the North before Aug.
 

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Every summer for as long as I can remember, we have a dozen or so brown pelicans arrive in July/August. They hang around a couple of weeks and disappear.

They make me miserable when they decide to dive bomb the shallow flats that I fish, since the baitfish go deep and the stripers follow them.

They always screw up my chances while wading, but they are fun to watch.
 

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Love that shot younger!!




I was fishing on a keys bridge all by myself once, bailing mangrove snappers. This guy shouted at me "He's stealing your fish"

Although he had to be yelling at me no one was anywhere near me. I looked down and the was a pelican woofing all my fish!!!!
 

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That pelican is banded!

BTW I've seen flocks of 50+ pelicans in LEI, they started showing up in the early 90's......
 
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