Pelicans starve along Oregon coast

Jan. 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

ASTORIA, Ore., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Scores of brown pelicans that failed to migrate south have starved or been injured along Oregon's coast this winter, biologists said.

The birds are some of the estimated 20,000 brown pelicans that live along the Oregon coast in warmer months and migrate to Southern California and Mexico for the winter to breed.

A shift in ocean and wind patterns, which could be related to climate change, provided an abundance of bait fish for the pelicans to eat through last month.

Now, the food supply has moved into deeper waters, forcing the pelicans to come ashore to hunt for food around piers, backyards and beaches, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Friday.

"This is the most (pelicans) we've ever seen here in January," said Roy Lowe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife office in Newport.

Dozens have starved to death, while an estimated 100 dying and injured pelicans were being treated at the Wildlife Center of the North Coast near Astoria.

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