I’m quite helpless when it comes to distinguishing the age or sex of a brown pelican, but that fine indeterminate pelican-being over there to the right, sporting the bright blue “K-15” leg band, was hanging out on the pier in Pacifica last winter when I wandered past with my camera. The bright blue leg band means “K-15” was once a patient of International Bird Rescue (and yes, I let them know where he/she was spotted!). IBR is kept far too busy caring for seabirds that have been incapacitated by oil spills or leaks, sickened by algal blooms, injured by fishing gear, or malnourished by food shortages. Sadly, they’re likely to have their hands full of starving seabirds again this year, given the crash in the west coast sardine population.
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