Our Los Angeles team has been dealing with an array of oiled aquatic birds in recent days, from Common Murres to a very large Common Loon. And now, this Brown Pelican, brought to us 100% oiled by a contaminant with the consistency of motor oil.
Rehabilitation technician Kelly Berry reports that the adult female was found on April 10 at Faria Beach near Ventura and Santa Barbara, CA. The bird was initially taken to Santa Barbara Wildlife, which then transferred this patient to us.
Thankfully, the pelican was thermo-regulating and self-feeding upon arrival at our center. “After a full day of supportive care and a physical exam, the bird was deemed healthy enough for a wash,” Berry says. “It was washed today, and under all that oil was a beautiful adult female pelican! She ended the evening assist-feeding sardines.”
We’ll post updates on this patient once she graduates to an outdoor enclosure. Below are photos of the bird pre-wash, during-wash and after-wash. (What a difference, indeed.)
Further reading on Brown Pelicans:
• Species profile on All About Birds
• Keeping watch over brown pelicans, International Bird Rescue blog
• Plight of the pelican, Los Angeles Times