California Brown Pelican Survey

Preliminary Data Summary, October 2016

On October 15, 2016, 280 people at 140 individual locations surveyed Brown Pelicans during the last four hours of daylight at roost sites (“eBird roost hotspots”) as well as other coastal locations. Participants entered their data directly into eBird. This data summary was compiled from these eBird entries. This survey was developed by Audubon California, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cornell Lab of Ornithology (eBird), Audubon Society of Portland, and Audubon Washington.

Key results

  • 280 people from Mexico to Washington surveyed a total of 140 locations and submitted records into the “Brown Pelican Survey” portal.
  • 73 eBird roost hotspots were observed plus an additional 67 coastal locations.
  • In Mexico, 4 sites were included with a high count of 62 individuals.
  • In California, 98 sites were included with a high count of 3198 individuals (Pillar Point Harbor jetty).
  • In Oregon, 27 sites were included with a high count of 750 individuals (Ft. Stevens State park jetty).
  • In Washington, 11 sites were included with a high count of 243 individuals (Gray’s Harbor- Westport jetty).
  • The total pelicans observed was 18,079. This is an estimated 12% of the global population of the subspecies of about 150,000 birds.
  • Of the top 20 reports, 16 were in California, three were in Oregon, one was in Washington and none were in Mexico.
  • About 46% of participants classified the birds as juvenile or adult. About 73% of the birds were adults and about 27% were juveniles.

Participants or any interested person can find the data in eBird and can also find photos from the survey through eBird’s new tool for posting and searching photos: “Search photos and sounds.”

How you can help, right now