Left Behind – Pelican Story

Left Behind – Pelican

It was no concern to me that this image did not make it into a recent juried show. More important is the personal significance of this image because of my remembrance of this morning.

After limited low tides in the dawn, we were finally able to sneak around the point corner durning a low tide to have the view open up to the back lit mountains and the  pre-dawn light. The ever changing sky and the foreground rocks kept me occupied while my friend walked on. I was focused on a blue heron on the beach and apparently took a few moments to see the “bigger picture”. 

Moving forward, I saw a rare sighting on a line of pelicans ahead  sitting on the line of rocks in the golden light. Although brown pelican are very common in the surrounding area, It was very unusual to see the pelicans stop and gather in this location. They typically gather elsewhere, such as in the harbor. 

As I moved closer, 3 fishermen with their gear tromped across the rocks while the pelicans wisely started fleeing off – that is…. most of them. Two lone smaller pelicans chose not to move. Instead, they quietly sat at the edge of the rocks, not daring to move. Even a passing dog did not make them shutter. 

Then we carefully watched the two lone pelican… who would not move like all the rest… or even with dogs walking by. Very concerned, we called animal rescue. Later that day, we discovered that there have been numerous calls and rescues of pelicans over the last few days. Although animal rescue was testing the illness, the cause was not conclusive at the time of our call.

One week later when asking for updates, an Animal rescue staff scouting the beach mentioned that the rescues have substantially diminished and going away.

Thank you to all those who help own local sea habitat – workers, volunteers, and local citizens!

If you would like to donate, here’s the link to our local animal rescue:

Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network – Goleta, CA

Bird and Wildlife Rescue Hotline – SBWCN Helpline (805) 681-1080