March 2, 2010

Severe winter storms and a sudden disappearance of fish resulted in a deluge of starving adult pelicans at wildlife rehabilitation centers up and down the Pacific coast in January and February. We followed Monte Merrick, the rehabber who cared for Gigi at IBR, to Morro Bay when he and his wife traveled there to help Dani Nicholson at Pacific Wildlife Care. Adults like the one in the photo know how to fish, and this bird was headed south toward breeding grounds in the Channel Islands or Baja, but there was nothing to eat! Many were saved, many not. (If you come across a photo of a pelican in an unlikely spot like a freeway ramp, I need these kinds of images to tell the story.)

Thanks to the Dean Witter Foundation’s recent $10,000 grant, we are able to stay in production and continue logging and transcribing the footage that has been shot so far. To date we have six hours of film and fifteen hours of video, with much more to come, including fledglings learning how to dive (very comical), pelicans tangling—sometimes literally—with fishermen, and the beautiful ballet of pelicans in flight.

Pelican in Profile

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