This is the first White Pelican the Center has seen. It is a protected bird in California, yet this did not stop someone from shooting it twice. A good Samaritan spotted the bird hitting a tree and falling to the ground, and called PWC to come get it. The shots were reported to California Department of Fish and Game, but unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. But on a lighter note, the bullets only grazed the bird’s flank, and the bird is doing very well. He was released on Monday after we dressed his wounds and monitored him for 2 days.

The American White Pelican is a magnificent bird. For some comparison:

_____________Brown Pelican   vs     White Pelican
Avg Body Length     42-54 inches                50-70 inches
Avg Wing Span         72-98 inches               95-120 inches
Avg Weight                6-12 lbs                        11-20 lbs

Unlike the Brown Pelican, the White Pelican does not dive for its food, but rather swims. It also is not in the habit of begging for food, so we humans do not see the White Pelican as often as the Brown Pelican. But when we do get to see one, it is quite a magnificent sight.

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1 Comment

  1. Cindy Fear on September 28, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I didn’t know White Pelicans swim for their food. I am so glad it is ok.

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