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Pelican News is gathered from around the world from online newspapers, magazines and plain old word of mouth. There's an emphasis on those pelicans in the western US, the California Brown Pelican and the American White Pelican. The purpose is to inform and educate. There are also occasional news of other endangered bird species and threats to seabirds, especially, but also to other birds, worldwide: see: pelicanlife's wildlife news page. The hope is to draw support for the Santa Barbara pelicans: by appreciating pelicans and other threatened and vulnerable birds, we can appreciate and support even more those rescued California Brown Pelicans, now healthy but unable to be free.

NB: For longer stories, this non-profit site, PelicanLife.org, will edit, with edits marked by ... or :::snip:::, and will provide active links to the original sources. PelicanLife's News section's sole purpose is educational, to contribute to pelican education and research. Citations and references should always be to those original sources. Most pieces require permission for copying for other than "fair use" purposes such as here; please contact the original sources for permission.



More than pelicans: check out the Wildlife News section!

|Arizona, early visitors | Australia, worst breeding season| Australia, protection | Australia - long distance travelers | Cosco Busan oil spill, after effects | Florida, film | FL: Fort Myers: Who shot this Pelican? | India, bird reserve? no thanks |Massachuetts | success: deslisting | Texas, Gulf Coast Wildlife rescue | Texas shooting | white pelican, arrow |

Pelicans Land In Tucson
Posted: April 30, 2008 04:38 PM

An unusual sighting on the city's westside Wednesday morning: a flock of pelicans landed at Silverbell lake, at Christopher Columbus Park. That's near Silverbell Road and Camino de Oeste.

The Southern California birds are not common for this area, but they do occasionally get blown off track during monsoon storms.

It's not known what the pelicans are doing in Tucson so early in the year. Posted By: Mindy Blake, KOLD News 13 http://www.kold.com/Global/story.asp?S=8252552

Adelaide scientists say they may have the first proof of how far pelicans can travel to breed.

Greg Johnston from Flinders University says a pelican tagged in Outer Harbour Adelaide has been found in south-west Queensland.

Thousands of birds are gathering there to nest at three sites after floods in the region.

Dr Johnston says until now there has only been anecdotal evidence that the birds travel so far.

"For the first time, we're actually confirming that some of the coastal breeding birds are moving inland and actually contributing to some of these big breeding events following rain, and that's not been shown before," she said. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/04/28/2228902.htm?site=westqld

(That's about 600 miles, if on a straight line and over mostly dry land. The California Brown Pelicans travel coastline north, from breeding grounds on the Channel Islands as far as Washington and even B.C. waters, but so far as this Web site knows, none have been tagged.)

Who shot this pelican?


Sometimes a wildlife story comes along that makes you say, “What was this person thinking?”

Late Friday afternoon, Coast Guard Petty Officer Brian O’Sullivan saw a juvenile brown pelican struggling in Matlacha Pass near the Fort Myers Beach Coast Guard Rescue Station.

Someone had shot the bird with a 3-foot-long metal arrow.

“As soon as I saw it splashing around, we went looking for something to get it out with because pelicans can be aggressive,” O’Sullivan said. “That’s when Kaye (DeHays of Fort Myers Beach) came along in a boat. She had a cage, so we put the pelican in the cage.”

O’Sullivan and DeHays took the pelican to the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel, where veterinarian PJ Deitschel and vet intern Staphanie French euthanized it.

“That pelican was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen,” Deitschel said. “The arrow severed the nerves along the spine, and the animal was paralyzed. The internal organs were not functioning, so, though the bird was still alive and could flap its wings, we felt there was no way we could get it back to being a functioning pelican.”

This was not the first animal that Deitschel has treated for an arrow wound.

“It’s not a common occurrence, thank goodness, but I have seen some, not as many here as I’ve seen in other places,” Deitschel said. “I’ve been in this business for nearly 25 years, so it’s fair to say I’ve been in areas that were worse than others when it comes to education and enforcement. This kind of thing happens. Cruelty to animals does happen.”

9:39 a.m.
Fort Myers Beach resident Kaye DeHays and two members of the Fort Myers Beach Coast Guard station on Friday rescued a pelican that had been shot with a target arrow from Matanzas Pass.
The bird was taken to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel. The bird’s condition was unknown this morning.

The bird was shot from very close range, according to DeHays. The Coast Guard is looking for suspicious looking activity on the nesting island, which is where the bird might have been shot.

If anyone has information about the shooting call DeHays at 239-463-0363. http://tinyurl.com/6fc7rt



Thriving seabirds, once devastated by DDT, no longer belong on the national endangered species list, officials say.

February 9, 2008; by Marla Cone, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Pelicans have roosted on the nation's list of endangered species longer than nearly all other creatures. Now the winged icon of America's surf and sand is about to be officially declared healthy.

The Interior Department on Friday announced a proposal to remove brown pelicans from the national endangered species list, 40 years after they hovered on the brink of extinction.

A single threat caused most pelican populations to plummet, and a single savior brought them back. Their plunge toward extinction was stopped not by the Bush administration, or even the previous five administrations, but back in President Richard Nixon's day.

Pelicans suffered almost complete reproductive failure in the 1960s and early 1970s because the pesticide DDT accumulated in their bodies, weakening their eggs and killing chicks. When DDT was banned in the United States in 1972, the species started to rebound.

Today, more than 70,000 breeding pairs of pelicans inhabit California and Baja California, and total numbers have surged to about 620,000 birds along the West Coast, the Gulf Coast, and in Latin and South America. :::snip::: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-me-pelicans9feb09,1,4727078,full.story


Rehabilitated brown pelicans set free

By Hunter Sauls; The Facts, Published February 02, 2008
FREEPORT — Flopping clumsily out of their cages, the brown pelicans stomped webbed feet across the sand, gathering speed.

The six birds elegantly took flight just as the sand became surf. As they rejoined the wild world Friday morning, dissolving into a flock of smaller beach birds at the mouth of the Brazos River, the women who nursed the pelicans back from illness and injury watched their work set free.

“When I got him, the fishing hook was all the way down this throat,” said Dana Simón, wildlife rehabilitator for Gulf Coast Wildlife Rescue, as she pointed to a pelican.

Two weeks ago, a man at the Bastrop Bayou Marina in Freeport found the pelican struggling to fly with 30 feet of fishing line dangling out its beak. The man called the Gulf Coast Wildlife Rescue instead of cutting the line and releasing the bird, like many do in the same situation.

“Never cut the line. It’s a death sentence,” Simón said.

Discarded fishing lines are a common killer of brown pelicans since they swoop down and plunge their beaks into the water, scooping up fish.

Gulf Coast Wildlife Rescue is a group of local volunteers who provide food, shelter and medical treatment to wildlife until ready to be released back into nature. Rehabilitated animals are also placed in zoos around the country.

Based out of Angleton, some of the rehabilitators care for rescued animals full-time without pay. The organization depends on grants for the wildlife cages, some as large as buildings, and donations to pay for veterinary supplies and food, Simón said.

Gulf Coast Wildlife Rescue treats pretty much any animal outside of house pets, not just pelicans.

“We have a possum lady. We have a bat lady,” Simón said.

She has gotten good at whipping up fiberglass patches for the shells of turtles hit by cars, Simón said. They also take in a large number of armadillos.

“It is about average for us to take in a new animal each day, especially this time of year,” Simón said. “When they come in really skinny, we usually have to keep them for at least a month. Sometimes they start to stack up.”

Another of the released pelicans was found lost in a Freeport neighborhood Jan. 9, dying of disease.

“It kept trying to fly, but it couldn’t fly too far,” said Israel Piado, 26, of Freeport. “That’s the first time I’ve seen them around the neighborhood like that.”

A group of neighbors moved the pelican away from traffic off Eighth Street and into a yard. Piado said he called Angleton animal control officers because he used to work there, and they gave him the number of the Gulf Coast Wildlife Rescue.

Lake Jackson resident Sandy Henderson, a wildlife rescue volunteer, said pelicans have big appetites and can eat 40 fish a day. To make it as easy on the bird’s fragile systems as possible, they were fed ground thread herring through a tube down their throats, she said.

“It’s like a fish milkshake,” Henderson said. “We have to buy lots and lots of fish for these guys.”

Some of the pelicans were tagged before they were released, said West Columbia resident Charlie Brower, the group’s certified expert for animal tagging.

“That way you can keep track of them,” Brower said. “You can find out what your survival rate is.”

He documents sightings of the birds by local bird watchers. He often receives digital photos of them, and depending on the quality of photo, he sometimes can make out the number on the tag.

The brown pelican still is considered a “threatened” species after its numbers dwindled due to pesticide use in the 1970s, he said.

Simón watched as the birds she helped bring back to life winged off across the Brazos River. Through her binoculars, she caught a glimpse of a pair of pelicans in the distance.

And then they were gone.

Hunter Sauls is a reporter for The Facts. Dalstra photo: http://thefacts.com/index.lasso. Copyright © 2008. The Facts


Worst breeding season threatens pelicans' future

By Andrew Faulkner, January 28, 2008
Article from: The Australian

ALARM bells are sounding for the future of the Australian pelican after the worst breeding season in history at the most important rookery in South Australia.

Not one chick hatched from 350 nests on the key breeding island of Pelican Point, off Adelaide's Outer Harbor.

Dismal flow-on effects are predicted for other states.

A lethal combination of drought, storms and foxes wiped out the many hundreds of eggs laid in the pelican breeding season, between May and October last year.

Adelaide Zoo senior research scientist Greg Johnston said: "The ones that weren't killed off by the storms were killed off by the foxes."

The disaster has national implications as birds born on the windswept, narrow and lonely strip of sand colonise the entire continent and beyond; some have been found in New Guinea.

Low Murray River flows and chronic salinity have also hastened the demise of pelican rookeries in the Coorong, south of Adelaide - scene of the classic movie adaptation of Colin Thiele's book Storm Boy - making the failure at Pelican Point even more worrying.

"Birds from this colony pretty much cover all of southeastern Australia," Dr Johnston said.

This development, coupled with the decline of nesting sites in Victoria from 10 to just two in recent years, has thrown the species' survival into doubt.

The "reproductive failure" was the first since Dr Johnston started studying the Outer Harbor pelicans in 1990.

Breeding pairs commonly scrape 800-1000 shallow nests on the island, but a lack of food caused by the drought slashed the number to 350 last winter.

Four storm surges on the low-lying island washed away many of the eggs. A fox attack finished off the rest.

Jennifer Hayes co-ordinates a team of 10 volunteers who help Dr Johnston record egg numbers, weigh the chicks and tag the birds' wings. She knew last year was unusual when the birds were slow to arrive in February.

"We kept coming out and there were no birds, and kept coming out and there were no birds," she said.

Then came the storms, and the foxes.

"What happens is pelicans sit with their eggs on their feet," Ms Hayes said. "What it looked like to me was the fox ran through ... so the pelicans took off and the eggs got flung everywhere.

"We came out one day and they were gone. All gone. It's sad for the birds because you know they feel it from the things you see them do. We've had incidences where babies have died and the adults have sat beside them for more than a day."

Last week, a few pelicans cautiously returned to the island to resume breeding for the next nesting season.


White Pelican Bird Injured By Arrow
By LaDale Anderson
Jan 27, 2008 - 8:41:38 AM


SANTA MONICA—A tragic and horrific crime was committed against an innocent animal in the Santa Monica area. An unidentified individual intentionally shot an arrow into the beak of a White Pelican bird. The bird was first spotted by individuals more than a week ago. The search to help capture the bird intensified on Saturday, January 19, 2008 as members of animal rescue groups attempted to catch the injured bird. The International Bird Rescue Research Center has teamed up with the Human Society of the United States and others to catch the person responsible for injuring the bird. A $6,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for this heinous crime.

$6,000 REWARD; if you have any information, please call Rebecca at: 831-869-6241
or the IBRC in San Pedro at 310-514-2573

The arrow was caught between the upper and lower portions of the bird’s bill, sealing its mouth shut and making it difficult for the bird to eat. The bird was last spotted near the Sepulveda Dam. Anyone who comes in contact with the bird is being urged to contact the International Bird Rescue and Research Center at (310) 514-2573. The White Pelican is known to be a very shy bird and is afraid of humans. Investigators believe that the arrow in the bird came from an archery camp in Woodland Park. A serial number on the arrow will help officials find the person responsible for injuring the animal. The White Pelican is federally protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. http://www.canyon-news.com/artman2/publish/Local_News_10/WHITE_PELICAN_BIRD_INJURED_BY_ARROW.php
See also: http://ibrrc.org/pr_01_16_2008.html


2 meetings on restoring oil-damaged S.F. Bay

Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer, Monday, January 21, 2008

Oiled birds can continue washing ashore for decades after a spill, said Karen Benzel, spokeswoman for the International Bird Rescue Research Center in Cordelia.

"It only takes a dime-size spot of oil to kill a bird, and oil stays around for a long time," she said.

Only 20 percent of the oil from the Cosco Busan has been cleaned up, Lewis said. The rest has evaporated, broken up or sunk.

So far, the Cordelia center has received almost 3,000 oiled birds. About 2,000 were dead on arrival, 421 were cleaned, treated and released, and 653 had to be euthanized, Benzel said.

The birds represent more than 40 species, including endangered marbled murrelets, threatened snowy plovers, brown pelicans, egrets, herons, seagulls and ducks.

The center spends about $200 to clean and treat each bird, for which the shipping company will be billed, Benzel said. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/21/BAIAUHTD9.DTL


UF shows a ‘Pelican’s Point of View’ to protect the seabirds

Announcements on January 17, 2008.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — At virtually every seaport mankind has ever built, you’re sure to see a pelican at some time or another. The birds roost on every continent except Antarctica. Their scythe-like beaks and snaking necks have adorned human art dating back thousands of years.

So, what’s the harm in a fisherman tossing a bit of fish to the nearby pelican kind enough to keep him company? What’s a scrap of flounder between friends? :::snip:::


To see the flash video, visit: http://collier.ifas.ufl.edu/SeaGrant/Anglers.shtml
Those interested in a hardcopy DVD of the video should contact Fluech via email at Fluech@ufl.edu.


Bird reserve? No, thank you

Kokkre Bellur (Karnataka), Jan. 16: Kokkre means pelican in Kannada, and this village believes it knows more about caring for birds than the Karnataka government.

Life in Kokkre Bellur has for generations revolved round the migratory birds that spend six to nine months here every year. Now its 2,500 residents are opposing a move to turn the 750-acre village, 85km from Bangalore, officially into a community reserve.

From the children to the aged, the villagers have been taking care of the spot-billed grey pelicans and painted storks that have made the village their nesting ground for centuries.

Being declared a community reserve would mean a tourist invasion, says Hejjarle Balaga (friends of the pelicans), an NGO formed by the villagers.

“Bird lovers are welcome to stay but why build additional infrastructure for tourists? We had a bad experience when a watchtower was built. It was too close to the trees and many young ones fell down and some nests were abandoned,” said Mahadev Swamy of the 96-member Hejjarle Balaga.

“The birds were not used to having tourists peer into their nests. We forced the forest department to dismantle the tower. We will not tolerate such intrusions.”

Village lore has it that the only year the birds did not come, back in 1964, a famine claimed many lives.

“Their arrival is a good omen,” said Linge Gowda, another Balaga member.

The villagers also believe that the birds, which live for 25 years, can identify them. In 1924, when residents were shifted to a camp because of a plague outbreak, the birds built their nests around the camp, Gowda said.

But it’s not just traditional beliefs that the government is up against. The Balaga has an arsenal of arguments against the village being turned into a community reserve (see box), which will mean compensation for not cutting trees, and money to plant saplings, regenerate dying water bodies and practise aquaculture.

“We need government help to build good roads and insulate the overhead electric wires, which kill at least 25-30 young birds every year. We have been pleading with power officials for six years but they haven’t responded,” a villager said.

Balaga members have set up a bird rehabilitation centre with their own money and are against outside meddling. “We have planted banyan, peepal, acacia and other trees so that the birds come in large numbers. If the government steps in, our culture and lifestyle will be affected,” Swamy said.

“We teach our children to co-exist with the birds. It’s they who inform the Balaga when chicks fall off the nests or get electrocuted.”

A government official said: “We have guaranteed the villagers’ land rights and promised funds for every kind of activity but they say the government cannot do a better job than them.”

Over 500 pelicans and 2,500 storks from across India come here every year. In another few weeks, the entire village will come alive to the chirrups of thousands of chicks and its fields will be carpeted with white bird droppings.

The storks stay from January to July and the pelicans for a whole nine months, from October till July.

Pelicans lay eggs at six years and storks at four. After arrival, they take a month to build nests, preferring higher trunks, and lay eggs that hatch after another week. For the next three weeks, male and female birds take turns to feed the chicks, which take at least three months to learn to fly. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080117/jsp/nation/story_8792572.jsp#


Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, January 11

A pelican spotted a couple of days ago in Shelburne Falls has apparently taken the next step in its journey.

Residents say the pelican has disappeared from the bridge of flowers. One person said they saw the bird floating on a block of ice in the Deerfield River.

The bird caught the attention of many residents there as pelicans are extremely rare to find up here this time of year.

In the winter, they usually flock to the gulf states. http://www.cbs3springfield.com/news/morelocal/13690657.html


Bid to save pelicans in Port Phillip Bay

Dina Rosendorff, January 09, 2008

REFLECTIVE disks will be installed on powerlines after the death of more than 100 pelicans in a single year north of Port Phillip Bay.

Representatives from Hobsons Bay Council, power company SP AusNet and wildlife agencies met yesterday after reports pelicans were breaking bones and getting electrocuted because they were unable to see the powerlines strung across Kororoit Creek, in Altona North.

Wildlife carer Amanda Hall said more than 100 pelicans had been killed in the past year as they unwittingly flew into the lines.

"As they fall they hit more lines and are smashed up," Ms Hall said.

"The death rate was 100 per cent. We weren't able to save a single bird." http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23024499-2862,00.html


Article published Jan 8, 2008
Bird Watchers Help To Nab Pelican Shooter

By MALENA OGLES, Staff Writer

Audubon Society members bird watching around Lake Palestine Saturday afternoon were shocked when the white pelican they were observing was shot from the sky.

The birdwatchers were parked on County Road 1134 viewing water foul fly back and forth from a private lake to Lake Palestine when they heard a gunshot.

"A pelican they were watching folded and fell to the ground," said Chris Green, game warden for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "They're beautiful to see swimming together. They have a large bucket-type mouth and it's neat to see them fishing. That's why they are protected."

The birdwatchers called Operation Game Thief, a toll-free number where the public can report hunting, fishing and other environmental violations.

Green said he was dispatched to the area and located the shooter and his friends along with the bird that was hidden in a makeshift dumpsite on the property.

When interviewed, the 17-year-old Robert E. Lee student told Green he shot the bird because it was eating too many fish out of his private lake.

"I seized his shotgun and wrote him a ticket for killing a protected bird," Green said.

In he state of Texas there are three classifications for protection. The first is endangered, which includes species such as the whooping crane and brown pelican. The second is threatened, and includes the bald eagle, and the third class is protected which includes owls, hawks, pelicans and songbirds.

"They are numerous, but we still protect them from random shooting, and violators face a pretty steep fine," he said. "(The teen) will be looking at around a $500 fine."

In addition to the fine for killing a protected bird, he was ticketed for not having a hunting license or hunter education.

Green said even though the bird was shot on private property it is still against the law to harm or kill protected wildlife. He added that if it wasn't for the Audubon ladies looking through their binoculars, he probably would not have known about the shooting.

"The women were very disappointed. They came to East Texas to see the beauty of our wildlife and all we can show them are killers," Green said. http://www.tylerpaper.com/article/20080108/NEWS08/801070322




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