Posted by: atowhee | May 26, 2022


In California Brown Pelicans are starving. In desparate moves to find food, some are getting injured in shallow water, on rocks or near docks. Click here for story about rescuers seeking help.

Click here–mystery is what’s causing the crisis?

Naturally, Brown Pelicans starving are NOT nesting this year along the southern California Coast.

Meanwhile, the breeding season for White Pelicans is fraught. Many inland lakes and marshes in Oregon and nearby states are no longer deep enough to provide safe nesting islands. A bright note: there is plenty of water again this year at Summer Lake in Oregon’s Lake County. The pelicans are expected to nest there as usual. That rich wetlands gets most of its water from springs, not annual snow melt like Malheur and similar great basin wetlands. So far drought and/or climate change has not desiccated Summer Lake as it has Klamath Basin, Tule Lake, Malheur, et al. Could it be the pelicans’ last resort?

The Eurasia Group is a think-tank focused on the othtr part of the Northern Hemisphere. If you can still muster interest in what our species is doing to itself, click here for their report on the likelihood of worsening starvation thanks to the Putinized planet.


“To build on the theme of wandering waterbirds discussed over the last week or so, ODFW surveyor Annika Andersson has detected up to 31 American white pelicans in Netarts Bay over recent weeks. We have only detected this species during our weekly/biweekly surveys across the Oregon Coast (south of the mouth of the Columbia R.) a total of 7 times over the past 11 years. Five of these detections were in 2021 and 2022. Satellite images (and numerous OBOL posts) suggest that, similar to 2021, dry conditions prevail across much of the interior range of AWPE in Oregon this year, suggesting that individuals may be forgoing breeding and/or prospecting for sites with sufficient forage.

“As other posters have suggested, the occasional dispersal of birds from drier areas of the region to the coast is not unique to 2022. And sometimes the birds end up staying: both American white pelicans and Caspian terns now have major colonies in the Columbia River estuary, though they once seem to have been exclusively inland breeders within the region.

“Also, I’d like to thank all the folks who are posting their interesting sightings and musings of dry side birds showing up west of the Cascades. This is great information.

M. James Lawonn
Avian Biologist
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife”


  1. […] they keep pumping ground water to grow alfalfa to be shipped to Mid East all bets are off.” Click here for my recent blog about pelicans’ problems due to […]

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