Update: Congrats to the winners of our inaugural Blue-Banded Pelican Sighting Contest! Winners in the adult and youth category both received Eagle Optics Binoculars. Stay tuned for information on our next sighting contest this summer.
The purpose of our contest is to encourage the public to sight and report blue-banded Brown Pelicans. International Bird Rescue has banded more than 5,000 rehabilitated brown pelicans in the last 20 years. In 2009, we began placing large blue plastic leg bands on our pelicans so that the public can easily identify the band numbers. This is part of our ongoing post-release evaluation of these birds so that we can get an idea of their survival and travels. We have just banded and released our 1,000th blue-banded Brown Pelican. These birds have been seen from Mexico to Washington state, as well as several Gulf states.
We are encouraging you to help us find these rehabilitated birds. Eagle Optics was kind enough to help us kick off this contest by donating two pairs of binoculars as prizes. The contest will begin on November 3, 2012 and end January 2, 2013. The winners will be announced on January 5, 2013.
There will be one adult and one youth (under age 18) winner. The adult who has spotted the most blue-banded Brown Pelicans (with accurate and confirmed band numbers) will win a pair of Eagle Optics 8X42 Ranger ED Binoculars (retail price is $500). The adult winner will also receive an honorary International Bird Rescue Pelican Partnership, which includes a tour of one of our California clinics and a pelican release experience.
The youth who has spotted the most banded Brown Pelicans (with accurate and confirmed band numbers) will win a pair of Eagle Optics 8X42 Shrike Binoculars (retail price is $100). You and your family will also become honorary Pelican Partners, entitling you to a private tour and release of your banded pelican.
There will be a first, second and third prize for the best photo of a blue-banded Brown Pelican. Each winner will receive an International Bird Rescue T-shirt and a copy of the award-winning HBO documentary Saving Pelican 895, following our work in the Gulf Oil Spill. Your image will be posted on our website and included in our online pelican yearbook that will be launched in early 2013.
1. Any banded pelican can be reported (not all pelicans with a silver band will also have a blue band). Metal bands have a prefix and suffix, e.g. 0669-00130. For birds that have only a metal band, the entire number will need to be reported.
2. Each reported band must be accurate to be considered. All blue bands begin with a letter and have two numbers following it. For example, A75 or M14. You do not have to report the metal band on blue-banded pelicans, only the blue band.
3. Each bird can only be counted once a day.
4. Dead birds can only be counted once.
5. Kids accompanying adults can report the same birds as their parents.
6. All banded birds need to be reported on the International Bird Rescue website at our Blue-Banded Reporting Page. Include a note if you have images of blue-banded pelicans and we will contact you for those.
Once a week, we'll post on our blog the best places to spot pelicans and tips on the best times to look for them. We will also be posting stories on individual pelicans and their travels and general information about the plight of the brown pelican.
Pelican Poster: English PDF 1.8 MB
Pelican Poster: Spanish PDF 1.8 MB