Several brown pelicans found injured or sick in SoCal; low food supply may be to blame

The International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles Wildlife Center is investigating after several pelicans arrived in their care either injured or sick.  

They received 55 new pelican patients in the past four days and more pelicans are expected to arrive this week.  

The organization says several birds came to them with fishhooks attached, other birds were hit by cars or had unknown fractures. Other birds were cold and starving.  

They believe the problem is a lack of available fish stocks... causing birds to starve or take risk measures to find food.  


Credit: Bird Rescue

"We’re seeing a mix of fledglings, second-year birds, and mature adults, which makes me think it could be a food supply issue rather than a simple influx of starving fledglings", said Dr. Rebecca Duerr, Bird Rescue’s Director of Research and Veterinary Science.

Credit: Bird Rescue

Bird Rescue is urging people to not cast lines into groups of feeding birds to avoid snaring the birds. They also urge people to keep an eye out if pelicans land in unusual locations like Pacific Coast Highway. 

If the public finds a pelican in need of care they can contact the International Bird Rescue’s Bird HelpLine at 310-514-2573.