On January 12th, an American white pelican was spotted at Shoreline Park. Robin Agarwal, a citizen scientist, noticed something was wrong - it looked like one of its legs was injured.
Robin immediately reported her observation to the Wildlife Center for Silicon Valley using a mobile app iNaturalist.org (part of the California Academy of Science) to communicate the pelican’s photos and GPS coordinates. Her initial iNaturalist report can be viewed HERE.
Since this could be a potentially difficult rescue, WCSV forwarded the information to WES.
That evening, after dark, our lead responder in the San Jose area, Andrew Bear, met up with Robin to scout for the bird.
They spent about two hours scanning the slough with searchlights, but never spotted the pelican.
The next morning, Robin went to look for the pelican. She observed three healthy white pelicans, but not the injured one.
Then, yesterday, the bird was reported again in the Charleston Slough, about 75 yards off the main path.
Once again, Andrew responded. This time he had the help of a park ranger to access the trail.
He found the bird!
But, before he could get anywhere near it, the bird flew away - over the slough and out of sight.
White pelicans are elusive and more difficult to approach than brown pelicans. Wild ones, unhabituated to people, do not 'bait in', so there's no chance to draw it closer to capturers. Regardless, we'll continue to accept reports and respond if we think we'll be successful in capturing it.
THANK YOU ROBIN FOR REPORTING THE PELICAN AND
THANK YOU ANDREW FOR BRAVING THE ELEMENTS TO HELP THE BIRD!
To get iNaturalist, go HERE. It's quick, easy and free!
If you're interested in becoming an on-call volunteer with WES, go HERE.