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Pelicans on Slave River

great white pelican


From the end of April

The Slave River white pelicans are a memorable wildlife experience.

Some of the most well-known birds of the Slave River are the majestic American White Pelicans. Each year around April 20, the white pelicans return from their southern wintering grounds to Fort Smith. They raise a new generation of pelicans.

The colony nest, feed and live on turbulent, whitewater rapids near Fort Smith. It is a unique habitat for this species. All other white pelican colonies nest and feed on calm-water lakes and ponds.

One of the best places to view the pelicans is at the Rapids of the Drowned right next to the town. The pelicans can also be seen on the Mountain Portage rapids just outside of town.


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