Big bird makes splash

By Union Democrat staff February 27, 2013 09:01 am

A large pelican dwarfs the ducks on the water at Phoenix Lake Tuesday. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2013.
A wayward pelican made a splash in a Phoenix Lake neighborhood on Tuesday.

The bird showed up sometime in the afternoon in Phoenix Lake. 

Neighbors marveled, saying they’d not seen one before.

“It’s a huge bird. I had to call a few of the neighbors to tell them,” said Ted Fallas, a Phoenix Lake resident since 2004, whose back window overlooks the reservoir.

“We’ve had some big birds around here. … This thing is bigger than a bald eagle. It’s just amazing.”

Neighbor Jeanna Shenefelt said, “I think it is wonderful. … I’ve lived here 12 years and have never seen one.”

Rick Baird, treasurer of the Central Sierra Audubon Society, said the sighting was probably exciting to witness but not wholly unexpected.

“Its not something you’re going to see all the time. You might once or twice a year,” he said.

The pelicans would normally be seen in wildland areas farther down the hill, he said.