shy, gentle, from Ventura, bonded with Blue. She was resident at
the pond for approximately three years. She arrived as a young juvenile,
weak, but seemingly okay. June tried several times to release her,
but she wouldn’t fly. With observation, it became clear she
couldn't extend fully her left wing. Who knows why, but maybe on
her maiden flight to the mainland from the Channel Islands, she
sprained her wing.
She’s been very timid but blossomed in confidence with her
friendship with Blue, shown here as an adult. In happy times, the
two would play every evening, tossing fish (often caught by a watchful
seagull) and then, as here, hunting for them. More often, though,
especially as Blue moved closer to Flipper, her friend seemed depressed
and was often alone, an unwanted third. ...She was a gentle soul.
pictured as a juvenile, was everyone's favorite for her gentle trusting
nature. She was found walking along the Goleta area beach, emaciated,
and has been at the pond for more than fouryears.
She had a detached retina and was examined by two avian eye specialists
in Camarillo and in San Pedro. They agreed she never would have
sight in her right eye. It's doubtful that she had the depth perception
needed for successful fishing. Shy and a bit timid (except around
the fish bowl!), she was friendly with the younger pelicans and
was close friends with the gentle “Blue-Orange." The
past year, 2005, she and "Flipper" (below) were
close. August 2004: see the Update page.
Click on photo to left for 12/30/05 photo.
wanting to fly but with an injured left wing. He was a handsome, confident
male. Along with Double_White, he was a quick study, a very capable
catcher of fish. His eye was as fast as any volunteer’s hand
and if “Green” was hungry, he would feed first and well
before the others. A wing injury brought him to the pond, probably
a fishing line sprain. The permanence of these injuries is often not
immediately apparent and maybe some day there will be ways to cure,
sophisticated operations now beyond the capabilities of the SBWCN....
sweet, gentle, and rather timid, with a broken wing apparently
intentionally-caused. He was found by the Camarillo Animal Control
and was the longest-staying boarder. Found in Ventura with a
severe left wing fracture and a hole in his wing, he was at
the pond for almost 6 years.
When he first arrived his nickname was “snappy,”
so untrusting he was. Over time, he adapted and became very
popular with the ladies, both human and pelican. The last year
he’s been without a particular pelican friend at this
point, his most recent, pictured, having died last winter, but
this fall he bonded with Blue and Blue-Orange.
had a unique way of catching fish, leaning way forward. He bonded
with "Blue_red." The two stayed together and nuzzled, not
grooming — pelicans don’t groom each other, at least
those here do not. The pair also engaged last winter in the first
steps of nest-building.
What was especially notable was the awareness of the other, how one
wouldn't grab at his/her friend’s fish although each would go
after fish that are tossed to others. Often, they assumed the same
postures: each of this pair would lean forward, the male particularly,
hunched down, reaching far out for the fish.
also had a wing injury, like so many of the seabirds sharing fishing
grounds with people. She was one of those creatures that doesn’t
stand out in a crowd. When she first arrived about two years ago,
she was shy. Slowly, with her friendship with “Leaner”,
she became braver, adapting some of his postures. Still, though,
she usually stood back watchfully, curious. The two began nest building
with the male gathering twigs, pulling little branches off a small
willow and bringing them to his friend.
One feels sad seeing such bonding among creatures who can never
survive free and need our help....
And with the death of her friend and then White to whom she was
devoted when he sickened, and frail herself, she's became quite
withdrawn. Oddly, though seemingly the weakest of all the pelicans,
she survived the longest.
for the next page
A PELICAN IN FISH FOR A YEAR: do a good deed and have a tax
© Betsy Robertson Cramer, 2004, all rights reserved.