THE mystery of black pelicans in local waterways has been solved.
In an article in last week’s edition, local bird lovers were baffled by the black pelicans.
The Courier sent the photos to BirdLife Australia, who confirmed the pelicans were coated in oil.
Spokeswoman Carly Hardidge said the feathers appeared to be matted down.
“Our bird experts agree this is actually an oiled pelican,” she said.
“Unfortunately, with that coating of oil, it’s a real worry.”
Rockingham rubbish collector John Caldwell agreed the black pelicans were covered in oil.
He saw the pelicans at the Millar Road landfill site on May 19 and said one of them even had a black eye, with hardly any yellow visible.
“There are about four of them,” he said. “I got about two metres away.”
Photographer Ian Beattie said he had seen three black pelicans, one at Penguin Island and two at Lake Richmond.
“They can fly and show no sign of being in any distress,” he said.