Wandering White

Enough cannot be said about the danger that mono-filament fishing line, hooks and lures pose to wildlife. Animals come to the Wildlife Center of Texas tangled, hooked and injured so frequently we have a trophy board for all of the hooks and lures that have been successfully removed. This White Pelican was rescued from an island. It was ensnared in fishing line and hooks and found to have numerous injuries. Daily hydrotherapy is helping to heal a badly injured foot. The upper Gulf Coast is home to two very different species of pelican, the White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) is a winter visitor while the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidrntalis) is a year round resident. In some ways, the two species are more different than they are alike. The most obvious difference is the size and coloration. The White Pelican can weigh up to twenty pounds while the Brown is usually ten to twelve. Both species are gregarious and the whites nest in especially large colonies. If you see one pelican loafing on the pier or floating on the water, there will almost always be several more nearby. The brown is marine, but is rarely seen far offshore, even when migrating. The white is almost exclusively an inland bird that prefers freshwater. When asked how the pelican hunts, the almost universal answer will be that they dive from great heights head first into the water to emerge with a pouch full of fish. Of the seven species of pelican ONLY the BROWN PELICAN fishes in this fashion. They can dive from fifty feet and survive by entering in a streamlined fashion. The entire breast provides shock protection for the rest of the body. To the touch, the [...]

January 2010 Update

NEW PELICAN VIDEO! Watch as WR&E staff gavage feed a juvenile pelican who was rescued from the fifth floor of a downtown high-rise. Click here to view the video!   UPCOMING EVENT – GOLF TOURNAMENT WR&E proudly announces its 6th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament will be held at Evergreen Point Golf Course in Baytown! This is a beautiful course, the azaleas will be in bloom and lucky participants may glimpse the resident pair of Bald Eagles. Mark Your Calendars Wednesday March 31, 2010  This year in addition to all the other goodies that you've come to expect at a WR&E Golf Tournament, there will be a silent auction.   CLICK HERE  for the registration form. CLICK HERE  to contact the Tournament Coordinator, E. J. Rogers.   UPCOMING EVENT – CARACARA RELEASE Great News!  The Caracara featured in the last newsletter has been moved to a large flight cage to condition his wings. While there, he has shown himself to be fit for release! Once the weather improves, we will be releasing him. We've reserved an invitation for you - watch you inbox for more details.   UPCOMING EVENT – OILED WILDLIFE RESPONSE WORKSHOPS WR&E is currently working out the logistics for the 2010 Oiled Wildlife Response Workshops. Demand continues to climb and WR&E is currently planning seven workshops! We’ll be in touch once dates are finalized.   PATIENT UPDATES The three amigos are happily relocated to the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. The high-rise pelican is eating with gusto and gaining weight. He will be released once we have an extended period of warm weather. The batting cage Barred Owl is recovering from his entanglement, he is eating well and will be moved to a large flight cage soon to [...]

On the Road

The three amigos (Endangered Brown Pelicans) finally have all of their Texas Parks and Wildlife and United States Fish and Game permits and are ready for their trip to the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. A WR&E volunteer will be driving them to their new home tomorrow.  The volunteers that specialize in fish eating birds will really miss them.     Click here to view the video footage posted to Channel 11's website. The Amigos are safely on their way to Brownsville.

Status Update: Pelican & Osprey

Numerous inquires about the Brown Pelican that presented with numerous problems including a treble hook in his mouth and the Osprey with the burned feet and feathers has prompted this update. “Buddy” the pelican (as named by his rescuers) is now healthy and strong. The old badly healed wing break still prevents him from being released into the wild, but Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville is still waiting for Buddy and his two companions. All they are waiting on is paperwork and a ride.           The Osprey whose feathers and feet were burned (perhaps by a flare)  is holding her own. She doesn’t like the same type fish that the other fish eating birds adore, so a volunteer frequents a fish market for tempting meals. While she’s not out of the woods yet, we are very hopeful.

Brown Pelican Rescue

United States Fish & Wildlife brought a juvenile brown pelican to the Wildlife Rehab & Education Center Thursday November 5, 2009 for evaluation and treatment. The young pelican had been observed near a dock at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Galveston and was apparently injured.  A thorough exam revealed many complications for the bird. It presented very emaciated and dehydrated. An examination revealed that it had a heavy mite infestation, a treble hook was embedded inside its mouth, and a single large hook was embedded in its neck. The initial exam also revealed an old wing fracture that had not healed properly. Pain medications, antibiotics and fluids were administered.  It was treated for the mites and the hooks were removed. Wounds were treated and he was crated to rest. The brown pelican will remain at the Wildlife Center until itis stabilized and healthy again. It was determined that the old wing break made it non-releasable. But the story won't end there. It is planned to transfer the pelican to the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas to live out its natural life in comfort.  WR&E thanks all those who were involved in the rescuing of this magnificent bird.

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