Brown Pelicans are a defining symbol of our coastlines. Often seen as an indicator species, the health of their population closely reflects the very health of the ecosystem. When there are environmental crises like 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, many take notice of Pelicans and other wildlife in harm’s way. But every year International Bird Rescue cares for hundreds of Pelicans, many suffering from human-caused injuries such as fishing-line entanglements, where there is no responsible party to cover the cost of their care. The plight of these birds often goes unnoticed, except for by the caring few.
One such patient, California Brown Pelican Y-1759, has been in care at International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles Center for nearly 7 months now. After a severe wing injury, his body overcompensated for a fracture, fusing the two bones together and rendering him flightless. Just like in a human arm, the bones in a bird’s wing must be independently mobile in order for them to fly, so it took cutting edge surgery and rigorous physical therapy for Pelican Y-1759 to be able to fly again and gain the strength he’ll need to thrive in the wild.
Pelicans consume 6 – 10 pounds of fish a day at up to $2.05 a pound, and when you factor in surgical and other medical expenses, providing them with the care they need can be an expensive business, and birds do not come to us with health insurance!
By becoming a Pelican Partner with a gift of $500 you help to make this lifesaving work possible for the thousands of seabirds we care for every year. And, as one of a select few who have truly chosen to be guardians for birds in need, you will also get the opportunity to accompany our staff as we release one of our Pelican patients back into the wild! As well as an exclusive tour of one of our centers and a chance to see a Pelican getting its final medical exam and numbered leg band, Pelican Partners and their guests are invited to open the cage at the release site as your partner Pelican takes its first steps into the open and soars away.
Recognizing that for many of us, a single $500 gift is out of reach, International Bird Rescue will track your individual gifts made in 2012 and beyond so that cumulatively they count towards becoming a Pelican Partner. This means that if you make a recurring donation, you will reach this milestone and join our circle of Pelican Partners in no time!
Not every Pelican’s treatment plan is as complex as that of Pelican Y-1759, but their recoveries and releases are always a triumph. We hope that when his big day comes, and someone opens the door for him, he flies off strong and never looks back, and we hope you’ll consider becoming a Pelican Partner to ensure we can be there for every bird that needs our help.
With heartfelt thanks,