The Pelicans Are Back! Get Out to See Them at Dick Young Forest Preserve

The Pelicans Are Back! Get Out to See Them at Dick Young Forest Preserve

American White Pelicans at Nelson Lake (CREDIT: Jay Sturner,

Kane County’s wildlife biologist reported March 20 that he saw a number of American White Pelicans on Nelson Lake Marsh.

“Be sure to stop by Dick Young Forest Preserve in Batavia to see them, before they head north!​” the Forest Preserve District says on its website. “Don’t forget your binoculars”

Pelicans have been stopping over in Kane County on their migratory patterns for 18 years. Staff estimates as many as 250 pelicans out on Nelson Lake at one time.

If you’re going to go check out the pelicans, better hurry. The birds typically stay for two to three weeks before heading to points north.

Jay Sturner posted his sighting on the Kane County Audubon website on March 14, when he found 25 American White Pelicans circling low over the lake.

“A minute later they landed, most of them skidding to a stop on the ice while others found spots in the open water or at the edge of the cattails,” he said. “Definitely the highlight of the morning, though a decent variety of waterfowl were highlights as well. Lots of feather colors on the lake that morning!”

For more sightings, visit the Kane County Audubon website.

Dick Young Forest Preserve is located at 39W115 Main St. in Batavia. For the easiest access to the lake overlook and nearby trails, use the Nelson Lake Road entrance.

For more information on Dick Young Forest Preserve, visit or call 630-232-5980.