Kalbarri is a magical coastal town about 6 hours North of Perth, where river meets sea. This popular holiday destination has so much to offer, not least of which is the daily spectacle of Pelican Feeding, which has been taking place since 1975.
These majestic creatures can be frequently spotted cruising up and down the river alone or in small flocks. A group of local volunteers feed the birds at 8.45am every morning on the Kalbarri foreshore opposite Murchison Caravan Park. The feeding is a free event to witness and lasts about 30 minutes.
Pelican numbers vary at different times of the year with an average of 4 each day, but their arrival cannot be guaranteed as they are still wild creatures. We were lucky to have two grace us with their presence.
A lovely local couple greeted us at the designated spot on the banks of the river. There is a semi-circle of bench seating, but ample grassy space to sit and watch from a slightly elevated position above the shoreline.
The one volunteer gave us a brief history of the pelicans in the area and some interesting facts, while we waited for the other volunteer to coax two pelicans up from the water with fish treats. At first, the birds seemed hesitant, so we were asked to be mindful and stop children from running towards them (some toddlers had been let loose and needed to be reigned in). At this point we had all moved down to the sand to be closer to the action.
The adults hung back and let the children stand in the front. Most of them eagerly had their hands up volunteering to feed the pelicans. The lucky few kids who received a small fish from the bucket, had to throw it about 2m towards the birds. The birds gulped the fish down their impressive beaks. After about 20 minutes the pelicans had had their fill and returned to the water, much to the disappointment of the kids who didn’t get a turn.
The closeup sight of these elegant birds enjoying their fishy meal, makes for good memories as well as good holiday snaps.
A gold coin donation is much appreciated to help the volunteers with the cost of food. No dogs are permitted for obvious reasons.
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