Hi everyone! Thank you Tami for introducing me, I don’t have much to add other than I’m really excited to be here, and to have the opportunity to help out at such an amazing organisation like the WRC! I heard about the Center from a friend that I met out in Africa – proving that the news of the great work you do really does travel far!
So my first blog is going to be about a pelican that came in on Friday 2nd December – caught on a frozen river out near Hudson, Wis.
I can’t think of any birds that we get in the UK that are nearly as big as pelicans, so it was a really great experience for me! Unfortunately, it was quickly apparent upon vet Renee’s admit examination that the patient had an amputated wing as a result of some accident. We thought that this could have happened from flying into a power line. As this injury made the bird non-releasable, unfortunately the only option was euthanasia.
It was, however, amazing to work with the pelican up close. We found pouch-lice inside its bill, (see photo).
And holding the pelican felt like gripping bubble-wrap! This is due to the large amount of air sacs under the bird’s skin. These help to keep it insulated in cold temperatures, and also keep it buoyant.
Also, we managed to salvage the pelican’s other wing, which was in perfect condition. It will soon be incorporated into an educational display of avian wings in the conference room, scaling all the way down to a tiny hummingbird’s!