Two American white pelicans recently were released at Mason Regional Park after being grounded for a year due to injuries.
Volunteers with the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center of Orange County nursed the injured birds back to health after they arrived in February 2022 with broken wing feathers and tail feathers.
“To be able to set them free again is the best gift we can give them,” Executive Director Debbie McGuire said after the birds lifted off, over the park’s lake, to cheers from onlookers.
According to the National Audubon Society, American white pelicans are among the largest birds in North America, with 9-foot wingspans – about twice the size of brown pelicans. Only the California condor has a larger average wingspan.