HAMPTON BAYS, N.Y. - When Ginnie Frati got a call about two stranded birds, brown pelicans were the last thing on her mind.
The pair was first spotted by lobstermen in the Montauk Inlet in the fall. They were rescued in early December and spent about two weeks at the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays. One had respiratory problems, the other a case of frostbite. Both were malnourished.
"The one with a respiratory problem, we started right away on antibiotics per or veterinarian. The one with frostbite, we started doing Epsom salt baths," Frati said.
The center admits almost 2,000 birds a year. Many of them have unintentional injuries from people whether there hit by a car or shot. But the pelicans are a different story. It was a natural occurrence.
The birds, about 6 months old, were banded in North Carolina to track their migratory patterns. But instead of flying south they flew north.
Once stable, they were flown via commercial jet to the South Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale where the staff says it's been a successful team effort.
The birds are making friends and are expected to both be released where's much warmer in the new year.