SEAVIEW — A white pelican was rescued from the Holman Slough outfall west of Seaview’s 30th Place last week after local residents became concerned about its health.
While brown pelicans are common in the Columbia River estuary and adjacent ocean waters, white pelicans were hardly ever seen before 2010. The rescued bird attracted attention as a straggler who remained after the fall migration.
Volunteers from the Wildlife Center of the North Coast near Astoria captured the pelican and took it to the center for a checkup and followup care.
“To conclude the white pelican saga, I called wildlife rehab and they sent volunteers Bill and Lisa, from Long Beach, to Beards Hollow to find her,” Peninsula resident Bob Duke wrote on Facebook. “They successfully netted her a half mile north and she is now doing fine at rehab and will be released into a flock of like feathers, probably in the spring. Thanks to all who assisted and kept tabs on this beautiful, young pelican. Everyone did the right thing, not disturbing her until the pros could be contacted.”
On Monday, the wildlife center said “The prognosis of the bird is still guarded, since we just got it, but we are optimistic since he/she has no obvious life-threatening ailments. We should know more in the next couple of days.”
Chinook Observer contributing writer Madeline Kalbach reported one of the first sightings of white pelicans on the Peninsula in August 2010. It was seen and photographed at the foot of Bolstad in Long Beach. By 2013 a flock of about 30 birds was observed in the Columbia estuary.
This majestic species is the second largest bird in North America, weighing 10 to 13 pounds at maturity and sporting a wing span of at least 9 feet. It soars with grace and often in synchronized flight.
For more information about the center, which is always looking for volunteers and financial help, see www.coastwildlife.org.