Ask SIB: Where Have All the Pelicans Gone?

Sofia, 13-month old granddaughter of Dick & Marg Wildermann

SIB Received this email on Sunday 8/16/20:

Dear SIB

Our daughter has been renting a villa on Rolling Dunes, next to boardwalk #1, for two weeks.  We spend part of most days there, especially in the evening.  For two weeks, our 13-month old granddaughter, Sofia, loved being out on the porch or deck in the evening to watch the pelicans fly directly overhead.

The pelicans came over constantly, in groups of several or even 20 or more. We’ve noticed when walking the beach as well that there are many pelicans this year.

Well, Saturday evening there were very few pelicans flying over their villa in the evening.  On Sunday there were none.

Where have the pelicans gone? 

Sofia will be here for another week.  I promised her that SIB would bring the pelicans back.  So you now bear a heavy burden.  

Thank you,

Dick Wildermann

And then we received this follow-up note on Monday 8/17/20:

SIB friends:

We took Sofia to the property owner’s pool at North Beach today and there were lots of pelicans.  Thank you so much for taking care of our problem so quickly.  Sofia would point at them flying overhead and screech.  She loves pelicans.

I told her the SIB experts said we saw no pelicans yesterday because it was Sunday and they had taken the weekend off.  I hope that was the right answer.

Keep safe, Thank you, with love, Sofia

Dick Wildermann

Her mom, Jodi added,

Thanks! She’s a real birder already. She loves nothing more than the birds, especially the pelicans. She hasn’t learned yet that screaming at them chases them away rather than attracting them though.

Jodi Simopoulos

Besides having the weekend off, the only other explanation we at Seabrook Island Birders came up with is that the weather had changed and the Brown Pelicans had different flight patterns as directed by the Pelican Air Control (PAC). But in all seriousness, as this is a question many of our island residents and guests have asked, there probably is no logical reason we mortal humans could discern. Weather, tide, winds, fish schools, … all would have a bearing the pelicans would understand.

Author: sibirders

SEABROOK ISLAND BIRDERS / “watching, learning, protecting” Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) are residents, renters and guests of Seabrook Island, SC who have an interest in learning, protecting and providing for the well-being of the incredible variety of birds that inhabit Seabrook Island throughout the year.

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