The birds arrived at the Chicago zoo over the weekend. They will undergo physicals Wednesday, then spend at least 30 days in quarantine.
All five birds, three adults and two estimated to be less than 2-years old, suffered wing damage that prevented them from migrating north earlier in the spring.
The birds will eventually make a new home at Brookfield Zoo's Formal Pool near the Perching Bird House.
The American white pelican can weight as much as 30 pounds, their wing spans can exceed nine feet and their orange bills can hold 3 gallons of water. They often nest inland on lakes and rivers, mostly in warmer climates.