Friday, January 15, 2010

Pelican Rescue and the Center for Birds of Prey

It's been cold here. So cold that for the first time since I have lived in Charleston, there was ice on the marsh. So cold that the windowboxes, hanging baskets and citrus trees in the downtown gardens have been covered with trash bags and blankets for weeks.

So cold that Pelicans are getting frostbite.

Last weekend, I was at Garris Landing (where the ferry leaves for Bull Island) in Awendaw. As it turns out, it was so cold that the ferry didn't run that day.

Before we left, we came across a Brown Pelican along the edge of the Marsh; she had ice on her beak and was dormant.
The naturalists from Coastal Expeditions called the Center for Birds of Prey and they instructed us to bring her in to the medical center. Chris Crolley and Ian Sanchez were able to easily drape her in a towel and pick her up for transport to the center. The medical team checked in our poor Pelican and told us that they would contact us in a few days to tell us her prognosis. So far, they've brought in at least six pelicans during this cold spell!

From there, we went to the exhibit area and went on a tour with Steven and Monty. We saw several species of owls, buzzards, vultures. Amazing!

Following the tour, they did a flight demonstration with a Swallowtail Kite, Eurasian Owl, and Common Buzzard.
All in all, a great day. If you've never been to the Center for Birds of Prey, you must go. It's only $12 dollars and they do flight demonstrations twice a day (Thursday-Saturday).


  1. Now this is interesting. We don't have pelicans here, so I read this post with great absorption. There's a raptor rehab clinic here in NS but I've never visited. Thanks for prompting me to do so.

  2. I hope the pelican does well - let us know about her progress!

  3. I'll let y'all know how the bird is doing- they haven't called yet.
    Jodi- when you go to the NS raptor center, let me know what you thought about it! I love the one in Charleston.



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