"The pelicans in the Marco area are getting bigger,” related Chief Ornithologist Derek Berger from the Everglades National Seashore Foundation. “The population of the native Brown Pelicans is increasing and so is the size of the individual birds.”
The Brown Pelican for several years was on the endanger spices list but not any longer. Whether it is the extremely warm winter, the nutrient runoffs from golf course fertilizers or the exploding growth of the indigenous fish population, which have also been affected by the overly warm waters and added nutrients, the mystery of the growing number of birds and the individual bird sizes is truly alarming.
“There seems to be a pattern in the development of the oversized birds.” The Chief Ornithologist explained. “Even as hatchlings the birds are bigger and soon grow larger than the parent pelicans that are forced to forage even harder and faster for the food their offspring must have to survive. Once the fledglings have learned to fly—and this apparently is also happening faster than in normal development—the newfound predators are relentless in their efforts to satisfy their growing demands and overwhelming appetites. The pelican growth explosion is not unlike the growing number of iguanas and oversized iguanas that have invaded the Marco Island area and the neighboring Ten Thousand Islands archipelago. ”
For several months local crabbers and anglers between Marco and Everglades City have been reporting accelerated numbers of pelicans. The maritime reports have been authenticated and indicate that some of the waterborne-fowl have indeed doubled and even tripled in size. The increased size of these evolving airborne predators has been described as alarming, and in a few cases, as truly frightening.
“There have been a few isolated cases,” Chief Berger confessed, “That require further investigation as to the exact size, wingspan, and weight of the birds in question.”
The largest pelican observed so far is the now so-called “pterodactyl pelican” of Lost Man’s River. This individual bird was first sighted and observed south of Goodland on the beach at White Horse Key.
Resident fishing guide Seth Sloan of Goodland reported the pelican on the sand at White Horse was: “As tall as a man and big enough to be dangerous.”
Sloan also reported that a visiting family from Chicago that was his full day fishing charter had three small children onboard along with two very concerned parents.
“When we saw that pelican on the beach,” The fishing guide of twenty years reported, “We just knew something was wrong and when we got closer and everyone could see how big that animal really was it was like we all saw this crazy storm-a-coming.”
Sloan’s last statement about the incident shares the feeling of most investigators assigned to the case by Chief Ornithologist Berger and the Everglades National Seashore Foundation. “Those folks and those kids were really sacred when that big bird with that huge beak took to the air and began to circle the boat.”
Although Chief Berger acknowledges the photographs from the White Horse Key Pelican and the evidence from the even larger birds sighted and netted during the Lost Man’s River expeditions, he has repeatedly denied claims that humans have been attacked.
“We simply do not have any proof that the oversized pelicans do pose as a significant threat. We also do not have any proof—other than the captured specimen from Lost Man’s River—that wingspans have exceeded 15-feet.”
The daily diet of the normal Brown pelican consists of about four pounds of fish per day but with the larger and more numerous birds the food supply may change from a daily fare of small fish to a more sophisticated diet that would include larger land-based animals.
“The larger birds are also apparently different with their habits at night. The normal pelican that we have observed for years flies home every night to roost with their fellows in habitual rookeries in the mangroves, but the larger evolving birds do not. The large and the very large birds are apparently driven by their constant hunger to fly and search for food all night.
Residents of Marco, Isles of Capri, Goodland and Everglades City are hereby encouraged to keep all pets indoors during the evening hours and especially on clear nights when the full moon and moonlight could reveal potential food sources for these ravenous and recently evolved airborne predators.
Upon closing, Chief Berger, Capt Seth Sloan, and Tom Williams along with the entire investigative team regarding the giant pelicans wish everyone in the world and specifically within the Marco Island Eagle reading area a very merry and happy April Fool’s Day, because after all, this story is a complete work of fiction without any fact and meant solely for the entertainment of everyone with a sense of humor and a little imagination.
Happy April Fool Marco! There are no giant pelicans ... that we know of.