Reports of dead and dying young pelicans along Monterey Bay shores are spiking this week. One Weekly reader called to say she'd delivered an ailing pelican to the local SPCA; another sent in a photo of a listless pelican at the water's edge.
Experts say the deaths are probably evidence of a pelican population rebound coupled with a food shortage. The International Bird Rescue Research Center is currently caring for 80 brown peilcans, and has taken in an unusually high number of pelicans in recent years. A pelican die-off in 2010 also kept wildlife volunteers busy.
People who come across listless pelicans are encouraged to leave them alone, and contact one of the following:
WildRescue in Moss Landing (866-WILD-911)
SPCA in Salinas (373-2631)
Native Animal Rescue in Santa Cruz (462-0726)
International Bird Rescue Research Center in the S.F. Bay Area (707) 207-0380 ext. 11).