Great white pelican rescued in Casiguran

Contributed photo
Contributed photo

THREE concerned citizens in Casiguran town in Aurora helped save rescue a great white pelican just before the end of 2020.

Francisco Calinog, Andy Ortiz and Francia Dasillo from Sitio Mahogany in Barangay Masagana, Dilasag, Aurora rescued a weak great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) in the said barangay.

Unsure of the reason why the migratory bird is in their area, they immediately reported it to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) based in Casiguran town.

Measurement conducted by Cenro Casiguran wildlife personnel showed that the bird has a 35-centimeter (cm) veil, 61 cm wing span, 15 cm tarsus, 21 cm tail and a total of 87 cm for the whole-body length.

The pelican is now under the custody of a DENR accredited wildlife rescue center in Clark Free Port Zone in Pampanga where it will be cared and released back to the wild upon recovery.

The great white pelican, which lives in the shallow swamps in Africa, is one of the largest flying birds in the world and it has the abilities of multiple birds, such as long flights and swimming.

The research also revealed that this bird's unique characteristic is the "gular pouch" inside its beak while the legs are short and strong with fully webbed toes that allow it to propel itself in water and to take off from the surface of the water. They are powerful fliers and often travel in flocks in a V-formation to reduce drag for the group, the study added.

Resident population of this bird can be found in the Sahara Desert in Africa while migratory population inhabits Eastern Europe and Asia during breeding and winter season. This bird occurs in fresh water lakes, marshes, swamps or deltas.


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