The Pelican Harbor Seabird Station would like to extend our sympathies to everyone within Miami-Dade County, Florida and the Caribbean that was impacted by Hurricane Irma. Our entire state was impacted, as many trees and boats were lost, in addition to damaged homes. Many of our staff and volunteers are still without power at the time of this writing. We are grateful Miami was spared from a direct impact, but like many of you are exhausted from all the storm prep, cleanup/recovery and disruption.
The Seabird Station staff and volunteers were rescuing pelicans right up to the day before the storm and worked tirelessly to protect our patients before, during and after the storm. More than 45 patients were evacuated the afternoon of Friday, September 8th. Education ambassador animals were relocated to the Marina building and critical care patients were sent home with staff for continued care during the storm. Patients were returned to our facility at 9am on Monday, September 11.
We had several large branches down and also had some erosion on the NE quadrant of our property. The surge and waves literally just stopped shy of our aviaries and pens. While we were delighted and surprised our facility fared well in the storm, we were most impacted by the increase in patients after the storm. Two of the patients were relatively rare pelagic birds that were pushed in with the storm (see images below).
|Left to Right - Brown booby (Sula leucogaster). This relatively uncommon pelagic species can sometimes be seen perched at Fowey Reef Light. Juvenile sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus). The closest nesting colonies are at Great Isaac Cay in the Bahamas and Dry Tortugas National Park.|
Our normal daily operations resumed on Tuesday, September 12. We know that everyone was impacted by the storm and we wish you a speedy recovery.
If you are one of the lucky one's with minimal damage like us, we hope you'll consider renewing your support and possibly even giving a little extra to help us weather what we know will be a challenging fundraising season. YOUR GIFT will make a difference in the lives of our patients. Donations toward our wildlife rehabilitation program are being matched (dollar for dollar) by the Batchelor Foundation.
Thanks for your consideration,
The Pelicans, Staff and Volunteers