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blue_orange & blue

"Blue-orange," 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.

Blue as juvenile

“Blue," 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.

Dark_green "Dark-Green," 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....
Flipper
"Flipper," 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.
Leaner
"Leaner" 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.
Blue_red

“Blue-Red” 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.

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