American white pelicans, once rare in Illinois, are now filling the skies above the Chicago area

Photo by Larry Palmer/USFWS

A kind of bird that not that long ago was so rare in Illinois that people traveled hours just to catch a glimpse of one have lately been winging their way through the Chicago area

American white pelicans are winging their way through the state right now as they take a route on their annual winter migration to the Gulf Coast. 

One expert says the reasons might start with the fact that more of the birds that traditionally bred in Canada are breeding in northern Wisconsin

And that means more of them when they head south, do so across Illinois.