I was lucky enough to receive a behind the scenes tour of both our local Marine Mammal Center and Pacific Wildlife Care facilities a few weeks ago to see first-hand all the work that our volunteers do to help the local wildlife. Did you know it can cost upwards of $1200 to rehabilitate a pelican? As mentioned previously, we are seeing a malnourished sea lion pup tsunami here in California due to warm waters.
Anyway, I also met a woman who, in addition to having volunteered for more than 15 years at the MMC, also runs a bird rescue and education operation from her home. I was invited to visit and meet one of her permanent family members, Morro the pelican. He was still sporting some of his beautiful breeding plumage. So, I took lots of photos while avoiding his girlfriend the goose, who was frantically trying to nip my bare legs and toes.
Inspired, here is my 16×20″ acrylic painting of Morro in all his glory.