Baby pelicans released at Tangalooma

Mon, 26 Feb 2018

By Eco Ranger Sue

Baby pelicans released at Tangalooma Island Resort

Earlier this year, the Pelican Twins Rescue Centre (Paula and Bridgette Powers) travelled over to the resort to release two baby pelican chicks, a male they called Mr Percival and his sister Miss Penny.

Both chicks are only 6 months old and were hatched in captivity by their mother that was rescued a few years ago, unfortunately she is permanently disabled due to a fishing line entanglement and can no longer fly.

Of course the chicks should have the opportunity to experience being wild pelicans, and as Tangalooma has a lot of other wild pelicans who reside at the Tangalooma jetty, and we are located in such a pristine environment, the Pelican Twins thought that there would be no better place to release the chicks than at Tangalooma.

Our Eco Rangers were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the pelicans, and were very excited and happy to see Mr Percival and Miss Penny walk nervously out of their cages, onto the white sandy beach at Tangalooma where they slowly made their way down to the shoreline and took flight. They took off and soared high above, doing circuits in the thermals above the crystal blue waters of Tangalooma to survey their new home.

It has been a couple of weeks now since the chicks were released and they  are still becoming familiar with the surroundings of the Gheebulum Coonungai (Moreton Island) National Park, and are forming bonds with the other pelicans that visit Tangalooma every day.

As the chicks were born in captivity in a rehabilitation and rescue centre, they are very trusting of humans, so much so, they tend to sleep in the dolphin feeding area next to the  guests who are lining up to do the dolphin feed and sometimes the chicks will hunt and catch fish during the feed.

We look forward to seeing these young birds journey over the next few months as when they build bonds with the local Pelicans of Moreton Island, they will probably join the flock and leave the resort area to return to the wild.

About the author

Eco Ranger Sue

For most of us, feeding a wild dolphin is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but for Sue Hassard, the Dolphin Care Manager at Tangalooma Island Resort, preparing dinner and feeding bottlenose dolphins is part of her every working day.

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