Pacific Brown Pelican Survey

2018 survey will take place on May 19 and September 8

Pacific Brown Pelican. Photo: Carl Velie

A joint effort of  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, state agencies, Conservacion de Islas and the Audubon network, the biannual Brown Pelican survey is helping us define the distribution and abundance of Brown Pelicans and track shifts in population structure. Survey dates in 2018 will be May 19 and September 8.

The California Brown Pelican subspecies (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) was removed from the Endangered Species list in 2009. The most recent population estimate is 70,680 breeding pairs. The majority of the subspecies breeds in the Gulf of California, Mexico; 15-20% of the population breeds at the U.S. Channel Islands. In recent years, Brown Pelican productivity at the Channel Islands and across the range has been poor, and key forage species including anchovy and sardine have collapsed raising questions and concerns about recruitment to the breeding population and ultimately the health of the subspecies. 

Results

Select results are posted below. Audubon will produce and post a three-year analysis in late fall 2018.

May 2016
October 2016
May 2018

If you would like to participate in this survey, contact these people in your geography:

Washington: Trina Bayard
tbayard@audubon.org
206-652-2444

Oregon: Joe Liebezeit
jliebezeit@audubonportland.org
971-222-6121

California: Anna Weinstein
aweinstein@audubon.org
415-644-4613

Mexico: Yuliana Bedolla
yuliana.bedolla@islas.org.mx

Protocol
Seas & Shores

Protocol

To participate in the brown pelican survey in Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, follow these instructions.

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Objectives
Seas & Shores

Objectives

The goal is to initiate a biannual citizen science-based survey to help understand the abundance and distribution of Brown Pelicans in California, Oregon, and Washington. This survey will complement a 47-year time series of productivity monitoring data at the U.S. Channel Islands and a shorter, but also robust, data set in Mexico.

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Brown Pelican
Birds

Brown Pelican

The Brown Pelican is one of California's most distinctive birds, and it very nearly disappeared altogether.

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Reporting Blue- and Green-banded Brown Pelicans
Bird-Friendly Communities

Reporting Blue- and Green-banded Brown Pelicans

Please report any birds with bands to International Bird Rescue

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News & Updates

Bird enthusiasts join coast-wide effort on May 6 to count brown pelicans
California Brown Pelican Survey

Bird enthusiasts join coast-wide effort on May 6 to count brown pelicans

— Birding blitz along Pacific coast will aid conservation of an iconic species

KQED takes a look at supcoming Brown Pelican Survey

Brown Pelican Photo: Michael Qualls/Audubon Photography Awards

KQED public radio in the Bay Area just did a great piece about the semi-annual Pacific Brown Pelican Survey, for which Audubon California is a major partner. Here's more information about the survey.

Citizen Scientists along West Coast to Count Brown Pelicans on Saturday, October 15 to Aid in Conservation of Troubled Seabird
California Brown Pelican Survey

Citizen Scientists along West Coast to Count Brown Pelicans on Saturday, October 15 to Aid in Conservation of Troubled Seabird

— Bird enthusiasts in California, Oregon, Washington, and Baja Mexico, are invited to join a West coast-wide effort to count California brown pelicans on Saturday, October 15, 2016 during the last four hours of daylight to help conservationists determine the health of the iconic species.
Brown Pelican coastwide survey on October 15
Audublog

Brown Pelican coastwide survey on October 15

Join us for the next Brown Pelican Survey on Saturday, October 15. Not only will this be a great time to get out and see one of our favorite birds, but you can also help make a difference for the conservation of this species.

Bird Lovers United to Count Brown Pelicans
Press Center

Bird Lovers United to Count Brown Pelicans

— Two hour birding blitz was first of its kind and will aid conservation of an iconic species

We're looking to you to count pelicans

Bird enthusiasts invited to join coast-wide effort on May 7 to spot Brown Pelicans
California Brown Pelican Survey

Bird enthusiasts invited to join coast-wide effort on May 7 to spot Brown Pelicans

Two hour birding blitz along Pacific coast will aid conservation of an iconic species.

Bird enthusiasts invited to join coast-wide effort on May 7 to spot Brown Pelicans
Press Center

Bird enthusiasts invited to join coast-wide effort on May 7 to spot Brown Pelicans

— Two hour birding blitz along Pacific coast will aid conservation of an iconic species.

How you can help, right now