Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pelicans in the news

Is this the start of a worrying trend? The BBC website carries two apparently unrelated reports.

In Florida:

A woman required 20 stitches to her face after a pelican crashed into her in the sea off Florida, apparently diving for fish.

The bird, which died in Thursday's collision, ripped a gash in Debbie Shoemaker's face as she bathed near the city of St Petersburg.

The city fire chief said he had never heard of a diving pelican hit a person.

In London:

Families and tourists in a London park were left shocked when a pelican picked up and swallowed a pigeon.

The unusual wildlife spectacle in St James's Park was caught on camera by photographer Cathal McNaughton.

He said the Eastern White pelican had the unfortunate pigeon in its beak for more than 20 minutes before swallowing it whole.

An RSPB spokesman said: "It is almost unheard of for a pelican to eat a bird. Their diet should be strictly fish."

Hmm. Pelcians seems to be doing a lot of unprecedented things all of a sudden.

Watch the skies!


HE Elsom said...

For years, geese in V-formation have been diving at petrol stations in Hemel Hempstead. It may be something to do with the former complex river system that was tidied up for the Grand Union Canal and the new town, but I'm inclined to distrust birds in general. Especially seagulls.

Jonathan Calder said...

I lived in Hemel Hempstead as a boy and even had a view of the canal from my bedroom window at one time. (This was the brief middle class part of my childhood.)

I was never attacked by geese and nor were my classmates at Boxmoor County Primary - it was then housed in a long since demolished building in St John's Road.

Perhaps we were lucky?

HE Elsom said...

The attacks I saw were in the mid 1990s. I never saw them do it in Boxmoor (which was near where I lived), but I did see several in the north of the town, in the industrial area, where I worked briefly. The target seemed to be the petrol station at least on two occasions. The geese got close enough to the ground to be very noisy, and a bit scary.

There was actually a fair bit of confused waterfowl in the city centre, particularly when the ornamental pool was drained. I always wondered where the Guru Tandoori got its curried duck.