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Fly away, big birds! Some pelicans impacted by mystery health crisis released after rehabilitation

Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network
Some of the sick California Brown Pelicans impacted by a mysterious malady are being released into the wild after undergoing rehabilitation in Santa Barbara County.

Thousands of birds along California's coastline have been affected by a crisis; Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network received more than 270 of the pelicans alone.

Biologists are still trying to pinpoint what has sickened hundreds of brown pelicans along the California Coast, but there’s some good news from a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Santa Barbara County.

The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network has released 10 of the birds that it was nursing back to health, after it was determined they were healthy enough to rejoin the wild population.

The Goleta-based agency received more than 270 of the ill birds in the last month. They’ve been treating the birds with fluids, food, medicine, and other supportive care. It’s been coordinating with other rehabilitation facilities in the state, which have also been swamped by the crisis.

While biologists are still trying to pinpoint the cause of the situation, a U.S. Fish And Wildlife researcher in Ventura County told KCLU News it appears a possible cause is a shortage of the specific fish the birds eat.