Rare Brown Pelican Spotted on New Bedford Waterfront
It was a fantastic photo of a brown juvenile pelican hanging out on a fishing boat in the Port of New Bedford, but it is a dangerous situation for the bird photographed.
Alex Butters from the New Bedford Port Authority was able to get a beautiful photo this weekend, but now this bird may need your help.
Pelicans are not native to New England and are actually meant to be living in much warmer climates. We spoke with Doug Feeney from the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable to find out how a pelican got to the SouthCoast and he informed us that "there have been periodic reports of them being down here, usually after major storms."
Clearly, the recent bad weather for us has been even worse for this young guy who was blown so far away from home that there is no telling if he can make it back on his own.
"Unfamiliar food sources in colder waters make it hard for this type of bird to have enough energy to make the trip back, so leaving is difficult," Feeney said, but capturing a pelican can be difficult, too.
Feeney said that "birds are stoic by nature." They try to appear strong and healthy on instinct to deter predators from trying to eat them. Good in nature, bad if they really need help. Chances are this bird really does need help, though he looks perfectly fine in the photo.
However, don't go trying to rescue a brown pelican if you see one flying around the New Bedford waterfront. "New Bedford Animal Control is aware of the pelican," Feeney said. "(With) migratory birds, (you) need state approval to capture."
He suggested calling New Bedford Animal Control if you spot the bird or calling the Cape Wildlife Center directly.