According to the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), large numbers of young brown pelicans are showing up on California’s beaches and fishing piers.
Although it is not unusual for young pelicans to beg for food, the agency urges the public to avoid feeding the birds. Most of the pelicans in peril are young birds and human contact habituates them to become pier bums, leading to an unsafe situation for the birds.
“When people feed pelicans, it leads to habituation to humans and conflicts in the future, such as entanglement in fishing line around piers,” said DFG Wildlife Biologist Esther Burkett. “Improper feeding can also cause damage to the pelicans throat pouch and intestinal tract, and contribute to a decline in fitness and possible death.”
Beach goers that see injured or entangled pelicans that could be captured by trained wildlife handlers can call one of these wildlife rescue organizations:
– Bird Ally X Humboldt Wildlife Care Center (707) 825-0801
– Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA: (650) 494-7283 or (650) 340-8200
– Native Animal Rescue of Santa Cruz County: (831) 462-0726
– SPCA for Monterey County: (831) 646-5534
– Wild Care, statewide: (866) WILD-911
source: California Department of Fish and Game