It feels a little early for mating season but since we’ve had warm weather this winter the birds are getting busy. On the island in the middle of the pond at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park, the pelicans were building nests and doing some extreme flirting. Most of these pelicans are injured. You can see in the last picture the pelican is missing one of his wings. Most of these injuries are due to getting caught in fishing wire.
I did notice a very tiny bald head under one of the pelicans. The pelican above had 3 babies that had just hatched under her wing.
A few times the parent got up to stretch and we were able to see the babies a little better. They must have been only one day old if that. They looked like little blue aliens.
It was a busy morning for them as they were trying to feed, nest and bath all together.
Looks like they were having fun splashing around.
The pelican island at the wildlife park is a safe place for these injured pelicans to live. The babies that they have can grow up and fly away whenever they are ready. We were lucky to have been there on a warm day right when the first of the babies were born. By now these guys are almost fully grown. Soon Mom will be an empty nester again.
All of the pelicans at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park were getting frisky. The pelicans are in an open pond and are free to go but they all have permanent injuries so they live here. There was lots of action going on the morning I was there in mid-January. The weather has been so warm this winter that the birds are starting families early.
I noticed the tiny pink head just to the right of the bottom of the pelican’s beak. This baby was only a day old. She kept him down low all morning.
This couple had a baby that was a couple of days old. These babies will grow up here but will be able to fly off once they are ready to leave the nest.
Most of the pelicans look like this, missing a wing. Most likely from getting tangled up in fishing line.
Taking a bath in the pond.
It’s fun to watch the pelicans go about their lives on the island at Homosassa Springs Park. Even though they can’t fly away, their babies will grow up and be able to do so .
Mom showing off her new babies.
They look so funny. Almost looks like they have chicken skin.
The parents were busy feeding the babies.
One by one they all get fed.
This baby was a newborn. Still sitting under the parent. I caught a glimpse when Mom got up to stretch.
I took these two weeks ago so by now these babies are pretty big. I stopped by the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary hoping to find some pelican babies. I had heard a few had recently been born. There must have been at least 30 babies there. It will be buzzing with babies for a while. The parents, who have sustained injuries that prevent them from surviving in the wild, are kept here permanently. Some time this summer, the sanctuary will roll back the tops of the two pelican pens and the babies can fly away free. I’m sure a lot of them still hang around to get a free meal. Many of the pelicans that you see on the beach around that area were probably born at the sanctuary.