Brown pelican holds out in Cape Breton as other post-Dorian birds move south

A Brown Pelican is shown in this handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Steven McGrath

Birdwatchers say a pelican that’s been feasting at a wharf in Cape Breton has been defying the exodus of other rare birds that were swept into the Maritimes by post-tropical storm Dorian.

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David McCorquodale, a Cape Breton University biologist, says he’s seen other species recover their strength and depart southwards.

But as temperatures dipped slightly over the weekend, the lone brown pelican believed to have been blown in by Dorian was photographed on the wharf in Glace Bay, feasting on fish providing by people.

McCorquodale, an avid birdwatcher, says it’s likely the pelican can simply continue eating and gaining energy – and is still capable of finding its way to a warmer climate.

But others are expressing concern the animal may delay its departure and suffer harm as a result.

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Alicia Penney, a local birdwatcher and naturalist who went to see the Glace Bay pelican, says she hopes the animal soon “fills up his tank and heads back to where he belongs” – likely the southern United States.

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