Brown pelicans released in Sausalito after being nursed back to health

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The first batch of brown pelicans at Fort Baker in Sausalito returned to the wild Thursday after spending weeks being nursed back to health. 

They are among hundreds of birds that have been found starving and disoriented across the state in recent weeks. 

“We are very excited to have one of the very first releases of pelicans from this massive starvation stranding event,” JD Berheron of the International Bird Rescue said. 

For the past month and a half, dozens of starving, disoriented and cold pelicans have been pouring into the International Bird Rescue where wildlife experts have been working hard to nurse them back to health. 

“They come in really starving. We hope that they will put on weight and eat well,” Berheron said. “A lot of birds also came in with secondary injuries because they were chasing fishing lines or doing risky behaviors, landing on the road, etc.”

The pelicans plight got a publicity boost when a disoriented bird landed in left field during a San Francisco Giants game. The odd behavior was a sign of the problems the birds have been facing. 

But fortunately, the weeks of feeding and care are paying off. 

“These birds have made immense progress. When we do our checks ,they’re gaining whole kilograms essentially, which is a lot of weight for a bird that only weighs about 4 kg,” Berheron said.

Wildlife experts say there are several theories for the wave of weak and hungry birds, including warmer waters leading to fish swimming too deep for the birds to reach. But scientists still aren’t sure.

“There are a lot of very, very smart scientific folks talking about this, and I think it’ll be a while, if ever,” Berheron said.

But the birds are bouncing back and rescuers plan to release all of them in the coming weeks. 

“It’s incredibly rewarding. It’s exactly why we do what we do to have them go back into the wild to be a wild pelican and contribute to population,” Kelly Beffa of the International Bird Rescue said. “Good luck to them.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.