Every Pelican Has a Story

Dear Friends,

563 Brown Pelicans were brought in to International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Wildlife Centers in need of treatment this year; each has its own story.

Fledgling Pelicans K14 and K15, called by the numbers on the leg bands, exemplify some of the serious issues faced by the aquatic birds in our clinics. K14 arrived weak and thin from starvation, while K15 suffered from infection from a life-threatening pouch laceration. Upon rescue in June, both birds had only been out of their Channel Islands nests for about two months when they found themselves in these desperate states.

It is our responsibility and everyone’s duty to help these birds.

Pelicans’ close interactions with people are their greatest danger. Pollution threatens their health and ability to float, monofilament line entanglement can reduce circulation to their limbs, and fishing hooks can cause long tears in their pouches, making it impossible for them to feed.

Each Brown Pelican that is rehabilitated and released from International Bird Rescue’s Wildlife Centers is fitted with a blue band with bold white lettering. These blue-banded Pelicans are part of an ongoing post-release study that allows us to see that our rescue and rehabilitation efforts are working. Thanks to their bands, both K14 and K15 were recently spotted alive and well, foraging in Half Moon Bay four months after their release! These sightings are significant, as they demonstrate the long-term value of our rehabilitation efforts. See: Report Blue-Banded Pelicans

The breadth of our clinical work and research is made possible through the heroic support of donors like you.

Over the years, International Bird Rescue has saved thousands of Brown Pelicans like K14 and K15. If we can give these birds proper medical care, a healthy and plentiful diet of fish (from 5 to 10 pounds a day per Pelican), and aviaries where they can exercise, bathe and feed, then they can return to the wild and thrive.

It’s why I’m asking for your help now.

In HBO’s recent documentary Saving Pelican 895 I noted, “Populations are made up of individuals, and if you start looking at individuals as if they’re not important, then ultimately the population becomes unimportant.” It’s absolutely true!

Please consider making a gift to International Bird Rescue to help support the rescue and rehabilitation of aquatic birds and seabirds. These individuals are important, and your generous donation will make a meaningful difference in the life of one of these magnificent creatures.


Jay Holcomb
Director Emeritus
International Bird Rescue

Show Your Support

When Pelicans like K14 and K15 needed help International Bird Rescue was there for them.
Now it’s your turn to help.

Brown Pelican K15, treated at Bird Rescue, suffered from an infection from a life-threatening pouch laceration. Photo by Stan Jensen

What Does It Take To Help a Pelican?

Every patient at International Bird Rescue receives its own care plan. Pelican rehabilitation can include antibiotics, anesthesia, surgical supplies, and 3-5 weeks of hearty meals – and this is for a species that eats half its bodyweight in fish each day!

2 thoughts on “Every Pelican Has a Story”

  1. Is there anything I could help with, seeing that I am unemployed and am not able to help cash wise !
    Thanks for caring and saving life !


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