Romeo becomes Coast's newest pelican dad at rescue

A baby pelican has hatched at Twinnies Seabird Rescue.
A baby pelican has hatched at Twinnies Seabird Rescue. Contributed

MEET the product of a recent fly-in, fly-out worker's time on the Sunshine Coast.

A FIFO pelican has fathered a chick at Twinnies Pelican and Seabird Rescue at Landsborough.

Twinnies Pelican and Seabird residents have named the chick Pip.
Twinnies Pelican and Seabird residents have named the chick Pip. Contributed

Pip hatched 12 days ago following a romance between one of the rescue and rehabilitation service's permanent residents, Tash, and a visiting pelican.

Twins Paula and Bridgette Powers nicknamed the visitor Romeo when he arrived of his own accord in July, clearly with his eye on Tash.

"This male was flying around and thought she was one hot chick," they said.

The twins watched as the two pelicans put their breeding colours on, and then began building a nest.

Things really hotted up between the two lovebirds once the nest was built, and then Tash laid an egg.

For thirty-seven days, the pelicans took turns keeping the egg warm, closely monitored by excited "aunties" Paula and Bridgette.

The twins discovered the chick had finally made its entrance into the world on August 24.

"We went down in the morning and we must have missed it by five minutes."

The twins said it was rare for a pelican to hatch on the Sunshine Coast.

"Usually, they go and breed at Lake Eyre or Wivenhoe Dam."

"It's amazing that this has happened on the Sunshine Coast.

"We were just over the moon."

The twins said it was too early to tell if the chick was male or female

Their niece dubbed the baby Pip which will cover things nicely either way.

Paula and Bridgette said Romeo and Tash were sharing parental responsibilities.

Father and mother take turns sitting protectively over Pip and feeding the chick regurgitated liquid from their beaks.

Pip is likely to be ready for his or her first tentative flight at three or four months. The Powers twins are unsure of Romeo's plans but say he is welcome to stay as long as he likes.

Topics:  animals pelican wildlife

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