The white pelican is commonly found out west toward the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.

Recently though, they’ve made their way to the waters of Lake Marion in the Santee area and Ballard’s Point.

It has been an experience for many of the local residents to have them there.

“They are so beautiful,” resident Janice Roberts said. “Three days I’m hearing about white pelicans, and I didn’t believe them.

“I had my day off and my goal was to find these pelicans and I’m sitting at my desk where I can see the lake and I’m like ‘What the heck?’ They are so majestic and beautiful. Everybody is loving them. They are overjoyed and super excited to see them.”

Residents aren’t so happy with the bird poop on the boats, though, she said.

“What we’re so amazed with is that we’ve never seen pelicans on the lake here,” Roberts said.

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The white pelicans usually migrate in the hundreds and will move around the coast, so many people who live near the ocean get to see them regularly.

Recently, they have started to move inland. They feed mainly on fish and catch them in a multitude of ways.

“Just a natural beauty. They’re something that people on the coast see, but on the inland, this is such a rare opportunity,” resident Pamela Myers said.

Myers estimates there are 100 to 200 pelicans and “it’s just unbelievable.”

“I lived in Louisiana, and I’ve never seen pelicans do what I saw them do this morning. They had a group of them herding a school of fish and some of them from the back came up and then landed on top of the fish. It was so cool to see,” local homeowner Ed Livaudais said.

Some even see the pelicans’ presence on the lake as a deeper sign of something or someone greater.

“They’re just so beautiful and we enjoyed them so much and I see it as just a gift from God that he sent us such beautiful creatures for us to enjoy in such difficult times. It’s so hard to find beauty, joy and peace, but they are so beautiful and so I consider them a gift from God for him to send them this way,” Myers said.

“They’re so peaceful, that’s the only word that comes to my mind. They just give such an inner peace to just sit and watch them,” Myers said.

The white pelicans usually range from 62 inches in length with a wingspan around 100 inches. They have long, orange beaks and black feathers at the ends of their wings.

In South Carolina, the eastern brown pelican is commonly found throughout the coast, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

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