Have you seen this bird? A person glancing quickly might dismiss the bird as a Canada goose. But take a closer look, and you'll see the beak of a pelican.
John Thomson III, owner of , said he spotted the bird flying around while in the Long Island Sound by Execution Rocks Lighthouse. He tells his story:
"I was on a boat passing Execution and slowed down to see if there were any seals around," he noted. "As we were motoring along I spotted this big bird flying towards the light and recognized it as a pelican."
Thomson pointed out the bird to another man on the boat, and they broke out their cell phones to snap a photo.
"The pelican landed on Execution and was just hanging out," Thomson continued. "He spooked a little when we got closer but didn’t go far. We left him there and headed in."
"I have never heard of a pelican around here and assumed it had escaped from the Bronx Zoo since is isn’t far from this part of the Sound," Thomson added.
After contacting the zoo, Thomson gained some insights from experts.
"I finally spoke to a couple of people who told me that we do on occasion get pelicans on the South Shore during summer and during migration periods, but no one had heard of one in the Western Sound. The bird was healthy and flying around on his own so they felt it is one that may have wandered off course and will continue to make his way South."
And, he said, other birders suggested that the pelican is the same one discovered just after the Tropical Storm Irene, in New Haven, Connecticut, and next around Greenwich and Stamford, before it was spotted near Rye in November.
Brian O’Toole, a nature store manager and volunteer coordinator with Audobon Greenwich told GreenwichTime.com, “It’s more of a southern bird, although occasionally they do wander north. A strong east wind can blow them into the area. Tropical Storm Irene may have blown it into the area.”
Thomson said he was told that animals aren't rescued if they are healthy and flying around on their own power.
But he said, "If anyone is on the beaches in Sands Point they should keep an eye open for our strange visitor."