American White Pelicans in flight. The pelican in the front is a banded bird, #5C9, that I photographed Christmas morning 2012 in the LA River. I reported my “tagged bird” sighting to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the USGS let me know that my pelican was banded on 7/14/11 in the Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho, which is a designated Bird Area of Global Importance. #5C9 was a fledgling when it was banded by Colleen Moulton, Avian Ecologist at Idaho Department of Fish and Game, in an effort to learn where pelicans "roam" for the two to three years before their breeding and to gather important information about individual foraging and movement.
In the three years I have been photographing birds, this is the first tagged bird I have photographed and on a special day to boot! It is vital for research that if you ever see a banded or tagged bird, to report your sighting to the USGS, which can be done easily on-line. Over 60 million birds have been banded since 1904 yet only 4 million have been reported. So, all that to say, #5C9 is one of the best xmas gifts ever and I am happy to see how well this bird is doing!
American White Pelicans5C9flight