Pelican Crisis: Hundreds of Sick, Injured Birds Reported Throughout California

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An urgent call for help as wildlife rescuers are flooded with an influx of sick and injured pelicans over the past few weeks.

The wildlife experts at the International Bird Rescue in Fairfield have been swamped caring for Pelicans, it seems the majestic water bird that was once on the brink of extinction has hit some troubling times yet again.

Wildlife experts added that they’ve seen dozens of brown pelicans pouring in weak, hungry and injured from searching for food.

“This is a brown pelican crisis happening right here in California,” said JD Bergeron, CEO International Bird Rescue.

The live bird cam shows the full house of Pelicans being treated in Southern California, more than 200 since mid-May.

Now, malnourished Pelicans are being found in the Bay Area, three more arrived to the bird hospital Thursday afternoon, NBC Bay Area caught one bird who, was found on a Santa Cruz beach, got its first exam.

“Most of them have been coming in starving and this one is the same. It’s dehydrated emaciated. Thankfully no other major medical issues, which is great, said Ioana Sertiran, Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician

But what’s behind the influx is a mystery, so far no signs of avian influenza and no clear explanation for why they’re starving

“These birds are all incredibly hungry despite signs in the ocean showing plenty of food is there,” Bergeron said.

But there’s no question that feeding so many hungry birds is costly. The International Bird Rescue Center said it’s spending $2,000 a day on fish alone. That’s on top of caring for the other species of birds that also need help.

They hope people pitch in to help them through the Pelican crisis.

“They’re all eating all gaining weight so hopefully with lots of food and medication they’ll progress,” Sertiran said.

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