Jan 14, 2015

American white pelican sighting

We want to thank Janna Pauser for alerting us to an American white pelican at Almaden Lake in Santa Clara County. 

Sightings of white pelicans in the area are rare, but what caught our attention was that the bird was alone - not traveling with other white pelicans, and it appeared very tired, seen sleeping rather than actively feeding.

Janna first spotted January 7th, standing on the shore of the lake's small island. It was in the same spot the next day. 

Janna checked again on Monday the 12th, and found the bird still on the island, resting.

This morning, one of the park rangers responded to our call for assistance. 

He took a boat out to the island to look for the pelican bit it was gone.

This afternoon, Janna was birding at Calero Reservoir and noticed a single white pelican sleeping among gulls on a spit of land in the center of the reservoir. We believe it's the same bird.

If the bird was in a more accessible spot, we would probably attempt a capture - just to see if the bird was in good health or not (we suspect not). 

It could just be that it's an individual that's failing to thrive and not meant to make it - natural selection - the culling of the weak. 

If this is the case, it's best that we don't interfere with nature.

On the other hand, it could be suffering from injury or illness caused by humans, in which case we should try to help.

Stay tuned!

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