A brown pelican flies just above the water after being released.

Second shot at flight for rehabilitated birds in Tampa Bay

The Seaside Seabird Sanctuary released a variety of birds into their native habitat.
A brown pelican flies just above the water after being released. [ JOE MESTAS | Special to the Times ]
 
The Seaside Seabird Sanctuary released a variety of birds into their native habitat.
Published Feb. 1, 2022

Seaside Seabird Sanctuary staff and volunteers released rehabilitated pelicans, cormorants and gulls in January on Indian Shores Beach. Beachgoers gathered to watch. Photographer Joe Mestas captured the event, observing that after release many of the birds gathered offshore “as if reuniting or waiting for other friends to be released.”

The sanctuary rescues and treats sick or injured birds, aiming to release them into their native habitat, according to its website.

Mestas is local to the Tampa Bay area and shoots a variety of subjects. Visit his website to see more of his work.

A volunteer with Seaside Seabird Sanctuary releases a rehabilitated brown pelican as people gather to watch.
A volunteer with Seaside Seabird Sanctuary releases a rehabilitated brown pelican as people gather to watch.
A brown pelican takes flight.
A brown pelican takes flight.
People gather to watch rehabilitated birds released by the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary.
People gather to watch rehabilitated birds released by the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary.
A brown pelican takes flight after being released.
A brown pelican takes flight after being released.
Birds gather just offshore after being released.
Birds gather just offshore after being released.