BISMARCK (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says more than 30,000 American white pelicans have returned to nest in south central North Dakota.
Biologists say the nesting colony at Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge is the largest in North America.
Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge Manager Neil Shook says an aerial count shows about 15,000 nests. Biologists estimate two adults per nest.
Shook says the number of breeding adults this year is about 1,500 fewer than last year but about 9,000 more than two years ago.
A record 35,466 birds were counted in 2000.