On the Wild Side!
E-Newsletter for the Chesapeake Bay Field Office

 

Rescued Brown Pelicans Released onto Smith Island in Chesapeake Bay

On Monday, April 12th, 2010, Chesapeake Bay Field Office biologists Pete McGowan and Chris Guy assisted Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research (TSBRR) in releasing 16 brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) into a colony on Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay. The pelicans were rescued by TSBRR after they had failed to migrate last fall.

Brown pelican colony on Smith Island. Photo by Chris Guy, USFWS
Brown pelican colony on Smith Island. Photo by Chris Guy, USFWS

Pelicans will often stay around marinas and dockside restaurants eating handouts. Because the food supply was so plentiful, the birds did not migrate. Unfortunately, most of these establishments close for the winter. With their food supply cutoff the birds began to starve. TSBRR rescued the emaciated pelicans and rehabilitated the birds for their successful release into a colony on Smith Island.

Left: Tri-State Bird Rescue readies pelicans for release. Right: Pelicans emerge from crates, healthy and ready for summer. Photos by Chris Guy, USFWS.
Left: Tristate Bird Rescue readies pelican for release. Right: Pelicans emerge from crates, ready for summer. Photos by Chris Guy, USFWS. Left: Tristate Bird Rescue readies pelican for release. Right: Pelicans emerge from crates, ready for summer. Photos by Chris Guy, USFWS.

For more information, contact:
Pete McGowan
410/573-4523
peter_c_mcgowan@fws.gov

Chris Guy
410/573-4529
chris_guy@fws.gov

To find out more about Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, go to www.tristatebird.org

 

Last updated: April 29, 2010