Range Tracking

Pelican Island At Sunrise

A sunrise boat trip to Pelican Island afforded the chance to see a lot of Brown Pelicans. Located in the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Pelican Island is famous for being the first national wildlife refuge established in the United States back in 1903 under an Executive Order signed by President Theodore Roosevelt as a way to protect birds from the ongoing slaughter caused by the fashion industry’s voracious appetite for feathers for women’s hats. As ludicrous as the plume trade seems today, one can’t help but wonder what people a hundred years from now will think about us and what crazy things we are doing.
We headed out to Pelican Island with Bob Bruce and Janice Broda on their boat just before sunrise. Also aboard were Joe & Faith Carroll.
Pelican Island is a rookery island used by a large variety of birds. Signs circling the island mark the 300-foot buffer meant to keep disturbances away from the island and its bird population. Needless to say, people are not allowed on Pelican Island, which is located on the Indian River Lagoon in Indian River County, Florida.
Brown Pelicans roost in large numbers atop the mangroves dominating the island. The Brown Pelican, Pelicanus occidentulis, is a large, fish-eating bird that almost went extinct due to the use of the pesticide DDT. Whole populations were wiped out in some States, which were rebuilt using Brown Pelicans brought from Florida.
Heading back to shore.

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