Pelicans love hanging around boat ramps where they have learned they can get a free feed. They just stand around, pretending to be busy preening and fisherman will give them food. They don’t seem to have a filter and will eat anything that closely resembles fish.
Unfortunately, if they are given old smelly bait or worse, the filleted bones of large fish, they can easily die of internal injuries and illnesses. Sometimes they cannot swallow the fish spine and it gets stuck in their throat.
We had a large population of Pelicans in our area fall sick with botulism and most could not be saved.
So, whilst they are huge and seemingly robust birds, we need to only feed them fresh soft fish scraps or small whole fish.
Another danger is the head of Flathead which has three short spikes that contain venom.
We now do not feed them and let them enjoy competing with us for a catch of fresh fish.
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