Photograph by Nancee Goldwater
kept the bird's eyes comfortable.
The ointment put under them pre-
vented ulcers and scarring of the
One very ill Pelican! The
bird had lain on mud flats in
Reno, Nevada |
for 5 days during one of our hottest summer periods in July. On
admission, the pelican could not hold its head up; the eyeballs were
shrunken, dry and the conjunctiva was swollen and bright red. Along
with those problems, the pelican was exhibiting open-mouth breathing.
Emergency care included hydrating the bird quickly and applying eye
shields. For the shields, we used Baskin-Robbins' ice cream spoons as they
had the correct curvature we needed. They were held in place by duct
tape. For many days thereafter, we applied the ointment under the shields
and into the eyes, as recommended by our M.D. Ophthalmologist. With a
great deal of special-duty nursing care the pelican recovered completely.
Since pelicans had already migrated from Nevada, we secured the proper
"passport" papers and took the bird to its California wintering grounds.