Permanently injured white pelicans that live at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. They are beautiful birds.
Getting their morning snacks from a park ranger.
They have a white morph great blue heron missing a wing that lives there.
Wood stork also getting breakfast.
Pink fluff balls (spoonbills) all lined up.
You can get up close to all of the beautiful birds at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park just north of Tampa. The sanctuary is home to a lot of injured birds.
Love was in the air in early February. They must have known Valentine’s day was just around the corner.
You can see his missing wing in this shot.
This was a scrappy looking bunch of pelicans, most were missing body parts. They were all working on nests in the middle of the small island.
A tiny baby pelican only a few days old was getting a snack from Mom. This was the only baby there so he must be the first born of the season, with a face only a mother could love.
He was only out for a few minutes. Eventually, mom tucked him back under her.
White pelicans all in a row nearby the brown pelicans.
They were arguing about something.
I thought it was going to be cold when we headed out to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. It felt a little chilly at first but got very humid and warm fast. In the middle of the pond where all of the big birds live, there is an island where the brown pelicans nest. I was thinking it was still too early to see babies but we caught the first one that was born. The babies born there will grow up with the parents and be able to take off whenever they are ready. Most of the parents are permanently injured and live there full time.
Brown pelican missing a wing.
Look closely at the legs and feet of this sandhill crane. His left foot is wrapped up and his right leg is a prostetic leg.
This one has a prosthetic left leg.
This one is waiting to get his new leg.
This great blue heron is missing his entire right wing. But still eating well.
I’m not sure what’s wrong with this laughing gull but he looks rough.
When hubby and I visited Mote Marine laboratory in Sarasota, we made a quick walk through of the Save Our Seabirds sanctuary next door. They treat injured birds. They release the ones that can live in the wild and keep the ones that are permanently injured. They have nice big aviaries for the residents. They are known for giving the sandhill cranes prosthetic legs. So many of the cranes are hit by cars and lose legs. Most of these injuries are made by man so the least we “men” can do is help them out. Save Our Seabirds do a great job. If you’re ever near Sarasota, stop by for a visit.
When I first got to the fishing pier I saw the above. I realized that someone was cleaning their fish and throwing the heads and guts to the pelicans.
It was funny to see them all lined up waiting.
Even the laughing gulls got in the act, trying to steal the fish guts.
Here comes another one.
“I got it! I got it.”
These three were at a standoff, or float off anyway. They all had a piece and none would give it up. After a minute they separated but I don’t know who ended up with the prize.
Is it my imagination or are these pelicans prettier than the ones at Fort Desoto? They have more color in their face.
Once you got something you still had no peace. You had to sneak off to enjoy your meal with others close behind.
“Oh no, here comes some more competition.”
I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier for a few minutes and saw a guy cleaning fish. They have cleaning stations on the pier but it was the first time I had ever seen anyone use them. The pelicans were busy fighting for a handout. I watched for a while and then the guy cleaned up and left. It’s a hard knock life for a pelican. Now they have to do their own fishing.