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Half-foot

“Yellow-band/Half-foot was sweet but she did have a temper. She came from Ventura, bedraggled and frightened. Her left wing was wrapped with fishing line and from a hook, maybe, her foot was torn. Despite her injuries, there was a toughness, a determination, and she recovered to bond with "Double_Red."

Her air of gentleness and apparent timidity could be deceptive. Although she usually hung behind her pal, “Half-foot” could stand up for herself, snap warningly at younger pelicans and snatch fish aimed for others, ‘though never from “Red.” Even so, there were days when she would be off by herself, withdrawn, and one wonders what was said, what happened between these two good friends.

She was the first....

Double_red “Double_red”, adventuresome and always at the first fish feed sitting,“Red” adventured out every morning doing the rounds, and would often be followed by his companion, “Half-foot." They were not always together, but often they were. “Red” had a damaged wing and seemed standoffish, but when his friend was sick last year, when she wouldn’t eat and had to be isolated to be tube fed and hydrated, it’s not a stretch to say that “Red” mourned and was worried. He hung around her enclosure until she recovered and they returned to their mostly on-again, sometimes standoffish relationship. He was among the strongest, but even the most fit, pelican as well as human, are brought down by pollution.
Blue

“Blue_Green”, elegant and friendly but without a particular friend, was found on East Beach. “Blue” was a quiet personality with such a damaged wing that he couldn’t be released. He was a gentle and passive creature, had to describe — probably only another pelican could have done him justice.

When he was sick, as he was occasionally, and as June nursed him back to health, he would be patient, not struggling against the volunteer holding him, seeming to recognize the good will of another species. Associating mostly with other adult males, “Blue” helped teach that there are many different ways of pelican being.

Double_white “Double_White” was handsome and quite an alpha male in character. He associated only with the adult males: in the year or so at the pond he had had no steady friend — until he got sick. And then Blue-Red stayed with him, the two heart-breakingly inseparable.

An intelligent bird — particularly skilled at catching fish, snapping loudly his beak — he caught on quickly to feints, teaching others, for instance, the pelican next to him, especially, how to do similarly. His right wing was severely damaged, perhaps from a fishing line. He would never fly again, but he was patient and quite friendly with the other pelicans.
Kimberly "Kimberly" - She was a particularly gentle and private creature and was found at Faria Beach, Ventura County. She was the only pelican to arrive in the middle of a volunteer party! Found by the Camarillo Animal Control, she was brought to June’s in October 2002, with a dreadful, sickening wing injury, probably intentionally caused. Her injury healed surprisingly quickly, but it took months for her to be trusting, to associate with the other pelicans. Kimberly became a perky, quite flirtatious sweetheart of a bird.

Because of an endower’s generosity, a gift of $5,000, a life was saved — surely, all the pelicans that June and the other volunteers at the pond have cared for for months and years deserve the same!
Double_purple “Double_purple”, a solo traveller who came from Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara with a fishing line injury. “Double_Purple” was an alpha male type: dominant, and rather aggressive about fish. He had a wing injury. Cat and Bird Clinic, Santa Barbara veterinarians, avian specialists, thought it might heal and the wing would be functional for flying. Despite weeks of wraps, that did not happen. He was at the pond for about a year a half and often stood by himself. Last winter he became friendly with “Kimberly.” The “beaking” (definitely a non-technical term) shown here with her, is equally definitely a sign of affection. Perhaps because of that connection, “Double_Purple” mellowed and was accepted by the others and accepted them, too.

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