Pelicans and oil don’t mix

Pelicans are my favorite birds and among my favorite animals.  Seeing them covered in oil really sucks.

I think these images are every bit as disturbing as those Chris Jorden took at Midway island last year of dead albatross chicks choked by plastic they were fed by their mothers (here).

Brown Pelicans were once greatly reduced in numbers and threatened by DDT spraying, which reduced the thickness of their egg shells.  The national DDT ban facilitated a largely successful recovery.

Before I went to grad school, I worked for the Conservancy in Naples Florida and mainly did pelican rehab; we rescued pelicans and other birds that were injured by fishing lines, hit by golf balls, etc.  We used to number their bills with nail polish to tell them apart.  I was always struck by how much their personality varied among individuals.  Some were cranky and aggressive, some were calm and mild.

Lisen to the NPR story about the effects of the spill on pelicans here.

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