"We discovered a new pelican colony at Chesterfield in the spring of 2020," said Colleen Moulton, the Avian Ecologist for Idaho Department of Fish and Game. "We had banded young pelicans at other colonies in Idaho since 2007, but #348 likely represents one of the first pelicans to fledge from this location. It's exciting to hear that the bird is still alive and well, as we have not received any other sightings of it since it was banded.
"Although most members of its cohort have been spotted in the southwest U.S. and Mexico, a handful of them have shown up a bit further east. In fact, one of its fledging mates was also spotted in Oklahoma, back in November 2020, at Salt Plains State Park."
Learning the origin story of this banded bird has inspired Ofsthun to look for and report other banded birds he may see.
"I've never spotted a tagged or banded bird before," Ofsthun said. "I'm definitely going to keep my eyes open and check my other bird photos for a band. This has all been a pretty cool experience - not only seeing the tagged bird but finding out that it was tagged all the way in Idaho!"