Columbia pelicans face new threat: junk food


    COLUMBIA RIVER — One of the most distinctive birds in the Columbia River estuary and on surrounding ocean waters is the brown pelican, with its famous large throat pouch and gregarious personality.

    Until 2009, these unusual aquatic birds were listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species List after their populations suffered from the ill effects of the pesticide DDT. Though brown pelicans have made a comeback since DDT was banned in 1972, they now face another challenge: junk food.

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