Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nigel, the White Pelican

Nigel, the White Pelican, was found on December 3 2013, in a field near Macon, MO. He then was brought to the MU Vet school raptor rehab, and transferred to the World Bird Sanctuary's wildlife hospital
Nigel in his evening quarters, in the Wildlife Hospital.
 Nigel had suffered a right wing injury, his left leg had an old fracture and he was very thin. It was touch and go for many weeks until he was able to gain some weight, but now he is on his way to recovery. Unfortunately he will not be able to recover 100% because the old leg break won’t let that leg fully function, so he will be placed at another facility to live out his days. 

Nigel in his physical therapy water tub
White Pelicans are found on inland bodies of water in North America. They are an aquatic species, preferring to be on the open water for most of the day, feeding on primarily fish. They are not a small bird by any standards, having the second largest average wingspan of any North American Bird and having one of the largest bills of any bird on Earth! They migrate for winter, following major rivers, from as far north as central Canada, to the Saint Louis area and all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.  
Scoop, an unreleaseable White Pelican that calls World Bird Sanctuary home
Most days Nigel can be found in the main room of the hospital standing around preening and eating fish. Nigel also receives acupuncture once a week at St. Louis Hills Veterinary Clinic, which is also helping to increase the range of motion in his leg.  He also receives physical therapy.  Nigel is put in a small pool so he can stretch and work on moving and using his left leg. He also enjoys snapping at and carrying on with the swan that is in rehab.  They aren't too sure of what to think of one another, but they do seem to enjoy having each other’s company.  

Submitted by Adam Triska, Supervisor

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