Spring is here – and so are the pelicans.
The Meewasin Valley Authority has confirmed the return of Saskatoon’s annual guests to their favourite fishing spot between the CP Bridge and the weir.
Official spotters from the Saskatoon Nature Society witnessed the first pelican touch down in the area on April 2 at 6:25 p.m.
It’s the earliest arrival time in the 22-year history of the MVA’s Pelican Watch contest, which awards prizes to those who guess closest to the correct date and time of the first pelican to land by the weir.
Prior to Sunday’s return, arrival dates since the contest started in 1996 varied between April 4-20.
A news conference to announce this year’s winners is expected at a later date.
According to the MVA, pelicans have been coming to the South Saskatchewan River since the late 1970s.
Saskatoon’s feathered visitors are likely from Redberry Lake, the site of the nearest colony, and make the 160-kilometre trip daily.
Come fall, the birds migrate to sites in California, Florida, Mexico and Guatemala.