Sick pelicans reported along California’s Central Coast

April 27, 2024


Wildlife organizations report a large increase in the number of sick and dying brown pelicans along California’s Central Coast during the past five days.

Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network rescued 22 emaciated, weak and disoriented pelicans. Of those, only eight have survived.

The exact cause of the pelicans’ condition is unknown at this time.

If you find a pelican that seems weak and disoriented in Santa Barbara or Ventura counties, call Wildlife Care Network at (805) 681-1080. In San Luis Obispo County call Pacific Wildlife Care at (805) 543-9453.


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A simple case of overpopulation, after a die off they will slowly recover to a sustainable number.

Initial glance – thought it was “sick politicians” and couldn’t figure out why that was a news flash.

There are many here in SLO county as well. Not just Pelicans either, all the seabirds are struggling this year, similar to last year. Simply put, the birds are starving. Windy weather, poor hunting skills in juvenile birds, along with all the problems they always deal with like tar, fishing line and hook entanglements. That said, please don’t feed them big fish carcasses either if you are cleaning your catch, they cant handle things that big and can become ill. Call PWC as noted in the story.

Food shortages would not account for increased deaths over short period of time. Look to pathogens or bird flu.

But are you saying….a peculiar bird is the pelican whose beak can hold more his belly can…but I say the hell he can!