National Aviary Welcomes Rehabilitated Brown Pelican


National Aviary Welcomes Rehabilitated Brown Pelican

National Aviary encourages community to meet the new pelican, vote on its name


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March 7, 2019 (Pittsburgh, PA) - The National Aviary has welcomed a female Brown Pelican to its flock, and the public is invited to meet her and vote online to give her a name. The pelican was previously injured in the wild, and because her injuries prevented her from being re-released following rehabilitation, she has found a permanent home at the National Aviary.


TribLIVE is hosting the online vote for her name at through March 13 at noon. Members of the public can also access the vote at Voting participants are automatically entered to win four admission passes and an opportunity to feed the pelican.


The National Aviary is uniquely equipped to care for birds that have been rehabilitated and cannot be re-released because of the Aviary’s expert staff and immersive habitats like the Wetlands. The new female pelican is thriving in her new home. She joins another rehabilitated Brown Pelican named Ralph in the habitat.


“Pelicans have a distinct and memorable appearance, and anyone who’s seen one really connects to the species,” said Jessy McAtee, Curator of Animal Wellness. “It’s been wonderful watching the female Brown Pelican acclimate to her new home in the Wetlands habitat.”


The pelican arrived at the National Aviary in November 2018 from a bird rescue center in Florida. She was rescued as a juvenile with a wing injury that had not properly healed. The cause of the injury is unknown, but as a result, she is unable to fly and would not be able to survive in the wild.


The public is invited to vote on one of three names:

1.      Eloise, or “Elli the Peli” for short, is inspired by the elegant yet awkward nature of pelicans.

2.      Dee Dee, named after Dexter’s sister in the children’s cartoon Dexter’s Laboratory, is a tribute to one of the National Aviary’s former pelicans named Dexter.

3.      Morada references that this pelican was found in the town of Islamorada, Florida.


The National Aviary encourages the public to come and meet this pelican in the Wetlands habitat. Feedings are held twice daily and are a great chance to see the birds up close. For an even closer encounter, visitors can purchase three fish for $1 or a cup of fish for $5 to feed to the pelicans.


There will be a name reveal event held on March 14, from 11 am to 1 pm at the National Aviary.



About the National Aviary:

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. The National Aviary’s large walk-through exhibits create an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to hand-feed and to meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world. For more information, visit

The National Aviary inspires respect for nature through an appreciation of birds.