Saturday, May 19, 2018

Pelicans in Trouble in the South Bay

These pictures were taken at the Redondo Beach Pier last Sunday. You can see the old library, now a Veterans Park Center, in the background.
Last week, a flurry of news stories appeared about sick brown pelicans. Here's the article in The Daily Breeze, pointing out that the International Bird Rescue of San Pedro had 32 pelicans in their care.
Local radio stations also talked about the pelicans; speculating that the fish population ain't where it should be, and the birds are starving. Older, more experienced birds are suffering.  They are cold and emaciated when rescuers get to them. The birds should be eating up to six pounds of fish a day.
Disoriented birds have stumbled in to back yards as well. Here's the phone number of the International Bird Rescue:
There's even a story in the NY Post about our pelicans. Apparently, a couple of the birds dive-bombed a graduation ceremony at Pepperdine University last month, and that got a lot of attention and tweets.

What does one call a bevy of pelicans? I just looked it up. They can be called a brief, a pod, a pouch, a scoop, or a squadron.
I think squadron has the most gravitas.
A similar pelican sick-in happened a few years ago, with even worse numbers. Ill, listless pelicans settled along the eaves of the restaurant at the end of the pier, dozens of them. Rescuers were taking only the weakest, because they were so overwhelmed and did not have room to care for all of the pelicans.
They hang around the pier looking for handouts from fishermen. While I wouldn't recommend that anyone try to get too close, you can tell by these photos that the birds were not shy or worried about people.

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