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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