Sunday, June 25, 2006


As you can see, I LOVE pelicans, so it's only natural that I'd post this one.....the poor baby!!

Possibly Drunk Pelican Hits Windshield

By Associated Press
Posted June 24 2006, 11:26 PM EDT

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. -- The driver was sober. The bird that crashed through the windshield of his car might have been flying under the influence.

A California brown pelican probably was intoxicated by a naturally occurring toxin found in algae blooms when she hit the car on the Pacific Coast Highway in Orange County Thursday, wildlife officials said.

The driver was startled, but not hurt. The pelican needed surgery for a broken foot, and also had a gash on its pouch.

"She's hanging in there," said Lisa Birkle, assistant wildlife director at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach.

Though toxicology tests take several weeks, the odd bird behavior was likely the result of poisoning from domoic acid, which has been found in the ocean in the area, Birkle said.

Pelicans have excellent eyesight and are unlikely to fly into cars when sober, Birkle said.

The center has received 16 calls of strange bird behavior in the past week, and was holding three other birds found disoriented and wandering through yards and streets.

Domoic acid poisoning was the most likely cause of a 1961 invasion of thousands of frantic seabirds in Northern California that inspired Alfred Hitchcock's film "The Birds."

Those birds flew into buildings and pecked several humans.

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