Pacific Brown Pelican Survey

Help make a difference for this great bird at our next survey on Saturday, May 6

Pacific Brown Pelican. Photo: Carl Velie

Join us for our 2017 Brown Pelican Surveys on Saturday, May 6 and Saturday, September 9. 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.

The biannual Brown Pelican surveys are helping us define the distribution and abundance of Brown Pelicans and track shifts in population structure. 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 from past surveys
May 2016
October 2016

There are two ways to participate in this survey:

  1. You can join an organized group count at specific eBird Hotspot roost sites managed by a coordinator listed below OR
  2. Roost sites might already be assigned, in which case you can find your own spot on the coast in Baja Mexico, California, Oregon, and Washington and enter your own data. To survey at any coastal access point, follow the steps in the “protocol” section below. 

Washington: Jen Syrowitz
jsyrowitz@audubon.org
206-652-2444 x108 

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

California: Ariana Rickard
arickard@audubon.org
415-644-4602

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

A joint effort of USFWS, Cornell Lab of Ornithology (eBird), state agencies, Conservacion de Islas and the Audubon network.

Protocol
Seas & Shores

Protocol

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

Read more

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

State delists California Brown Pelican
Audublog

State delists California Brown Pelican

This is the first species to be removed from the list.

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How you can help, right now