California Brown Pelican
Ocean

by

Eileen Ringwald

California Brown Pelican
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California Brown Pelican
The California Brown Pelican, or Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, is seen here winging away near Anacapa Island. I captured the flight from a sailboat as we sailed past. The brown pelican was placed on the endangered list in 1970 throughout the United States, but it was taken off in 1985 along the Atlantic Coast and Alabama's Gulf Shore. It remains endangered in its western range, which includes Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, California, Washington and Oregon. Kempthorne's comments also apply to the California brown pelican, a subspecies. Two of the brown pelican's primary breeding grounds in the western United States are in the California's Channel Islands, officials said. The population on Anacapa Island peaked at nearly 8,000 nesting pairs in 2004. The population on Santa Barbara Island has an annual average of about 1,500 nesting pairs.
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