Pelicans swoop through Ottumwa

Pelicans have taken over Ottumwa.

Several people have spotted large groups of pelicans in the Des Moines River and in Greater Ottumwa Park.

Wapello County Naturalist Annette Wittrock said the birds move north every spring to nest and stop by again every fall back on their way south to the coast.

The migratory patterns don't change much year to year, even when the weather is a chilly as it has been this spring.

"Well it's not necessarily the temperature here that's going to determine that, it's where they're coming from that's going to determine that," Wittrock said. "So if it's warm down south, then they're going to start moving."

Wittrock said other birds that have similar migratory patterns are waterfowl like Northern Shovelers and Buffleheads and Egrets and Warblers.