This spring Saline County Conservation Agent Andrew Mothershead rescued this American white pelican from a fishing line.
This pelican was one of many that traveled along the Missouri River between February and April.
The pelican snapped its beak in protest as Saline County Conservation Agent Andrew Mothershead wrestled the bird from its thin confinement.
A discarded fishing line had disrupted the bird's typical migratory route through Saline County.
While thousands of other pelicans flew free, this line had tangled the bird's nine-foot wing span.
transported the injured pelican in a pet carrier to Lakeside Nature Center
in Kansas City.
hopes the pelican can return to the wild and continue its traditional migratory route.
"Man that thing was mad," Mothershead
This year, a dramatic increase of birds and an extended stay in Saline County prompted several inquiries regarding their habits, and Mothershead
eagerly educated the community about them.
As the birds lined the Miami Access and swarmed Teteseau Lake, Saline County residents and visitors wondered about the odd-looking birds.
"They're ground nesters like a duck or a goose, but they're just way, way different birds," Mothershead
"I think people are surprised to see them."
explained American white pelicans nest in southern Canada and north-central United States in the summer, but each year flocks migrate along the Missouri River.
Saline County serves as a resting place for the birds as they travel to the Gulf Coast, Texas and Mexico for the winter.
cited this year's warm weather and abundance of carp as potential answers to the increase of pelicans.
and Freeman said these birds typically arrive in February and stay until March, but this year the pelicans rested in Saline County until April.
While the birds have flown north for the summer, Mothershead
anticipates they'll return in late September as they journey south.
"This place is the major truck stop for birds on their migratory north and south," he