Two brown pelicans blown to Rhode Island by the winds of Hurricane Sandy were flying back Saturday to their natural habitat in Florida -- via a private plane.
The first of the large birds, whose wingspans measure 6 to 7 feet, was found on the side of a road at Fishermen's Memorial State Park on Nov. 7, nine days after the storm made landfall in New Jersey, said Jennifer Brooks, clinic director at the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island.
The bird, a juvenile likely from a nest in North Carolina, had been tagged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and records showed it was presumed to have died, she said.
The second pelican landed on a fishing boat about 120 miles south of Block Island the following day, she said. The crew of the boat, which provides fish to SeaWorld theme parks, fed the bird for several days before docking.
3. This happened many years ago with a hurricane in the Gulf blowing birds into AZ.
I nearly drove off the road when I saw groups of pelicans standing along the roadside in the Arizona desert. When I got back to CA from Phoenix, I called the Audubon Society to find out the score. They told me that rangers and volunteers were rounding them up and transporting them back to the Gulf. Unsung heros.