I stopped by Ollies Pond for about an hour on the 21st. Like most small bodies of water here in SW Florida the drought had diminished the size and made it easier for fishing birds to get to their dinner. This also means that some of the bigger fish that stayed in the deeper water and didn’t get taken are now available. That’s probably a good thing for raptors like Ospreys and Eagles but it’s tougher on the birds that swallow their prey whole.
There are about 100 or so White Pelicans who have taken to the pond. They tend to feed in rafts with their feet herding the fish around until someone catches one. Once they make a catch, they move away to let others feed.
There were two of these working on the pond and as someone got their fish they moved off as an individual and would eventually join one of the rafts again. It didn’t seem to matter which there was a lot of transfer between rafts.
Now and again a large fish managed to get caught by one of the pelicans. The two I saw looked to me like Tilapia. The first was really large and the Pelican was having a lot of difficulty with it. It was actually damaging the pouch with it’s sharp spined fins and biting. It moved away before I actually saw it swallowed.
Another one had found a slightly smaller fish and eventually managed to get it down. You can see the comparison of the neck in the second image here.