Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Remember: Hands off the birds -- unless you have permits

A press release sent Monday says:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has been receiving calls about Brown Pelicans that are either washing up dead on the [Oregon] coast or are exhibiting behavior which is uncharacteristic for the species (ie. begging for food, no fear of humans, eating bread crumbs as handouts). Many of the birds are emaciated or starving, and this is the reason for their seeming lack of fear of humans.

California Brown Pelicans are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Thus it is against the law to capture, kill, or possess these birds. Anyone found in violation of this law could face penalties of up to $15,000 in fines and/or 6 months imprisonment for each violation. If you have information of anyone violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act please fill in the violation report form or call your local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent.
Wildlife officials recommend contacting a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center if anyone encounters a bird that appears starving and also says,
Finally, please DO NOT feed these birds. This will only lead to further habituation of these birds to handouts from humans. It is important that these birds continue on their migratory route.
Photo courtesy of International Bird Rescue Research Center/Tom Grey

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