White pelicans in central Florida in June?

Look at that, a white pelican in the middle of the spoonbill and stork crowd. And, there are still a few coots left. Most of the coots flew north weeks ago.

I saw another white pelican swimming towards me. His wing looked funny.

It looks like he was a broken wing. When he flapped a few times, the wing was hanging down.

Is that why there are a few white pelican hanging around central Florida in mid-June? They knew their friend couldn’t fly any further so they stayed behind with him?

These three hung out together for a while feeding. I had heard the nature center at Circle B was keeping an eye out on him. He was finally caught and sent to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in St. Pete. I have heard he lost that wing and is now a permanent resident at the sanctuary. He was being spoiled and seemed to be doing well there. I’ll be visiting him soon.  I guess now all of his friends can head back up north for the summer.

So here is the debate – should he not have been caught and allowed to live out his last few weeks free in the lake. Eventually he may have been eaten by an alligator with that bad wing. Or, was the right thing done to save him and remove the broken wing so he can live out many years being feed at the sanctuary. Spending his life with other injured white pelicans? They have a nice big pen with a pool to go swimming and get fed tasty fish every day. I have friends who have different opinions on the outcome. What do you think?


On another note, this morning I read an interesting post from guest blogger Scott Wittle on Arthur Morris’s site, Bird As Art. Scott is a photo birder that Arthur met recently in Trinidad. He had a very interesting opinion about whether you can be a birder or photographer or both at the same time.  I felt like he was talking to me. I’m out looking for wildlife and hope I can get a decent picture to record it. I’m not always out looking for the perfect picture. You can read his post here http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2012/07/10/scott-whittle-photo-birder/.  Let me know your thoughts on which is you.

4 thoughts on “White pelicans in central Florida in June?

  1. It is a mixed bag. I spent years rehabing raptors and many we had to keep because of injuries that would not allow them to survive in the wild. The education birds were treated well and the ones that could fly were taught to fly from glove to glove. We would fly them in education programs so people could see how they looked in their real habitat. Some flew to a lure so they could demonstrate how they would hunt. The birds became comfortable with their life and wilingl participants, but I know in my heart they wished to be free. It always made me a little sad. But, they did live a good quality of life and I have to think that is better than no life al all.

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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