Calling All Pelican Lovers!

If you love pelicans and if you would like to help out, May 7 is a day you should mark on your calendar. On this day, between 5-7pm, you can join other pelican enthusiasts as they help survey California Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) roost sites along the coasts from California up to Washington state. The idea is to count juvenile and adult birds, take photos, and enter the data into the eBird portal. This tri-state survey will help define the distribution and abundance of the pelican, and complement a 47-year time series of monitoring of this pelican subspecies, which was removed from the Endangered List in 2009.

BRPE Cropped

Brown Pelican from the Refugio Oil Spill.  Photo Credit: Mike Harris

Remember the oil spill that occurred in 2015 near Santa Barbara? The pelicans that were oiled and rehabilitated from that event are banded with green color bands with white numbers. A small subset of these are also satellite tagged. If you see any of these birds, or one of the control pelicans wearing blue color bands, we want to hear about it! We are tracking these birds to get a better idea of how birds fare after being oiled and rehabilitated. Please help us (and the pelicans!) by keeping an eye out for these banded birds. If you do happen to see any of these birds, please report it by going to our website and clicking on the link at the bottom of the home page.

So grab your binoculars, spotting scope, a good camera, and head to the coast on May 7. For more information, take a look here and here.

Thanks for caring!


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