- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says thousands of American white pelicans are returning 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 some big birds began returning in late March, which is a couple of weeks earlier than normal.

Shook says the pelicans should keep returning over the next few weeks.

An aeroal count of the pelicans will be done in early July.

A record 35,466 birds were counted in 2000.

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