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We may not have vast oceans or any seas, but pelicans are not an uncommon bird in North Dakota-even in recent years, as the number of pelicans has dropped in the North Dakota breeding grounds at Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

On this date in 1939, residents of Braddock were wishing for fewer pelicans. The birds had discovered fish in the Braddock dam a few years before, and kept bringing back more of their companions, until the flock numbered about 150 birds, all eating fish from the dam.

It was a lot of fish to lose...for, after all, as one newspaper printed,

"A peculiar bird is the pelican,

Whose bill will hold more fish than his bellycan,

Tho we don't know how the hellhecan."

Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker



The Hazelton Independent, Thursday, June 22, 1939