This is the first White Pelican the Center has seen. It is a protected bird in California, yet this did not stop someone from shooting it twice. A good samaritan spotted the bird hitting a tree and falling to the ground, and called PWC to come get it. The shots were reported to California Department of Fish and Game, but unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. But on a lighter note, the bullets only grazed the bird’s flank, and the bird is doing very well. He was released on Monday after we dressed his wounds and monitored him for 2 days.
The American White Pelican is a magnificent bird. For some comparison:
_____________Brown Pelican vs White Pelican
Avg Body Length 42-54 inches 50-70 inches
Avg Wing Span 72-98 inches 95-120 inches
Avg Weight 6-12 lbs 11-20 lbs
Unlike the Brown Pelican, the White Pelican does not dive for its food, but rather swims. It also is not in the habit of begging for food, so we humans do not see the White Pelican as often as the Brown Pelican. But when we do get to see one, it is quite a magnificent sight.
If you would like to show your support of an organization helping animals such as this one that fall victim to cruelty and misfortune, then make a donation!
With the Holidays rolling around, I know what a lot of you are thinking: What should I do for my holiday card this year? You may also be thinking about what gifts to buy, and whether maybe you should donate to a non-profit organization to spread the love a bit. Well here is a solution to TWO of those questions: Pacific Wildlife Care “Wildcards”.
Visit www.clevenash.com to view the amazing wildlife photos captured by local nature photographer, Cleve Nash. He’ll feature your selected photo on the front of each card and will add your preferred greeting and name inside. Ordering and contact information are also available on the website. Wildcards and envelopes are sold in packages of 10, starting at $15 for note size cards. All orders will be delivered to the PWC center for you to pay for and pick up. Cleve has generously offered to donate the money he receives from customers who mention Pacific Wildlife Care to our Center. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to send memorable holiday greetings to all of your friends and support PWC.
We thank you for your ongoing support!
How do you tell the difference between a Clark’s Grebe and a Western Grebe?
Well, pictured below, the Western grebe has a straight, yellow-green bill. Right around the eyes, the plumage is black. When they are young, their downy is grey.
The Clark’s Grebe, below, has a bright yellow, slightly upturned beak. Right around the eyes, the plumage is white. The downy young appear white, not grey.
Both types of Grebes will nest inland on large lakes and then migrate to the Pacific coast in winter. They make floating nests of plant material concealed among reeds. They have a very spectacular courtship display where two birds will rear up and patter across the water. Their young are relatively mature and mobile, and can swim immediately after birth. They are all excellent swimmers, owing this to their lobed toes.
They hunt by diving under water to catch carp, herring, mollusks, crabs, and salamanders. By pressing their feathers against the body, grebes can adjust their buoyancy. Often, they swim low in the water with just the head and neck exposed.
If you spot any grebes on lakes or on the coast this winter, snap a good photo and send it in to us!
If you are ever crossing the parking lot of an Albertsons and you hear a voice asking “Have YOU heard of PWC,” it is most likely coming out of a very tiny person named Rosemary. She draws in the crowd and educates while David mans the booth, pulls out the handouts, and thanks the donators profusely.
These two superhuman activists have a booth with a billion and 1 hand-outs on every topic you can imagine. Need instructions on how to make an owl box? Done. How to get the skunk smell out of clothes? Got it.
They take their booth to all of our events, as well as farmers markets, and even to the grocery store parking lots. They also put out a poster of photos, flyers, stuffed animals, candies, and a plastic jug for donations. This past year, they estimate that they have raised somewhere around $3,200 through the booth!
In their free time, they collect fishing line from piers and visit fish cleaning stations to teach the fishermen about safe fishing practices. And as if that’s not enough, you can also find them at the center volunteering with ALL sorts of tasks. Sometimes I just want to say, “Jeez you guys, you’re making the rest of us look like slackers!”
They have been with the center for 6 years now, but their zest and liveliness for the cause has not diminished at all. They like to tell the story about the first release they ever witnessed. They said it was a red tailed hawk release. They and a few others took the hawk back to where it was found, and within minutes of the release, he had found his mate once more and they reunited! It was a truly moving experience for them, and they passionately want to share this with others. They often tell me, “If we can change just one person’s mind about wildlife, then we have done our job.” But I can assure you they have changed far more than that.
This is Misty. She is a full grown Western Screech Owl that came into the center in March after being hit by a car on Old Creek Rd. A very compassionate woman (named Misty) brought her in and still checks up on her to this day.
After a visit to the vet, we learned that Misty was completely blind. Even though she made a full recovery, we would never be able to return her to the wild. While this was very sad, it was silver lined, because we applied for and got a license to keep Misty as an educational animal! If you ever see her at an event, you will see all of the qualities that make her a great educational animal, such as her calm character even while surrounded by many strange people.
Both screech owls and great horned owls have such phenomenal hearing that if Misty had at least 1 good eye, we would have been able to release her.
We often see the Western Screech owls confused with baby great horned owls because they have the ear tufts that make them look horned, and they really look like adorable miniature versions of the horned owls.
There are 21 types of Screech Owls known currently. They are named as such because they do not make the common “hoot” noise associated with owls, but rather, they make a trill sound consisting of more than 4 distinct calls per second, though it doesn’t sound like screaming or screeching. They also have a special “song” they use in courtship that is very unique and ranges with each animal. The screech owl is primarily solitary, except in winter when the male will find a hollow tree or existing nest to woo a mate. The female will assess which male she likes based on the nest location and the food she finds there (insects, reptiles, and small mammals). Imagine ladies, being fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner in bed during pregnancy. That’s what you get when you are a screech owl!
Misty’s story is a success story, but unfortunately, many other animals that have been hit by a car are not so lucky. So be careful driving at night (and during the day) and slow down (within reason and safety) if you see an animal that may possibly want to cross. Also, don’t always assume animals on the side of the road are dead. If you see an animal that may be alive, please donate your time by double-checking. Misty owes her life to a kind person who did just that.
If time is not something you can donate, then donate some money! There are many ways you can help. For more info, visit our website at http://www.pacificwildlifecare.org/.
An awesome message from Richard Grise on Friday, August 24th:
and emotions can only be described but.. it happened.. it happened magically and majestically.. made
my MONTH.. my day.. this 15 minutes of release after over 500 hours of wildlife care… amazing recovery..
Thanks to Staff, Volunteers. Supervisors, and many of you that helped cover the $150/day it costs to just
feed them and keep them maintained… and mostly to protect the sensitive species that were deterred.. to heal.. to fly.. RETURN… they were all only less than a year old!… Today they flew to Whale Rock @ 19th in Cayucos … then joined a pod… off to feed…
I am still tingling.. it was a GREAT friday.. it was awesome.. it was…. i n s p i r a t i o n a l.. to me..THANK YOU Karen for releasing Care Center Staff for this release; to Alex for the help & constant inspiration/BLOGging…
and so much to my friends and supporters… Craig & Kris.. for making this even more special..
Before the large pools were brought in, the birds in flight 1 had a few baby pools.
Then a generous trucking company decided to donate two large fiberglass tomato bins for the center to use as peli pools. So the construction began. We had to make a wooden support structure to hold the large bins because the weight of the water would break the fiberglass without any support.
Then we had to remove one of the side panels of flight 1 in order to roll the giant bins inside on pvc piping!
Once inside, we lined the bins with a plastic material used in coy ponds in order to prevent leakage. We also built the rest of the wooden support structure around the now pools, and then filled them with water!
After adding a few more touches such as a filtration system, some perches, astro turf, and extra platforms, flight 1 was ready for use.
Thanks to a lot of hard work and a generous donation, two tomato bins are now peli pools for our resident birds to enjoy.
We could never do what we do without the monthly donations of our members. If you support our cause, become a member and receive our quarterly newsletters! Or, you can give us a one time donation, perhaps, for the coming holiday season.