Name that pelican! TribLIVE holds online contest for rehabbed pelican at Aviary |

Name that pelican! TribLIVE holds online contest for rehabbed pelican at Aviary

Mary Ann Thomas
Courtesy of the National Aviary
This rehabilitated pelican at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh needs of a name.

The National Aviary in Pittsburgh’s North Side has a new female brown pelican that sustained injuries in Florida but has been rehabilitated.

The lady seabird is in need of a name and you can help.

Voters can choose from among three names and can win four free admission passes and an opportunity to feed the pelican.

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

The public can choose from the following names:

  1. Eloise, or “Elli the Peli”
  2. Dee Dee, named after Dexter’s sister in the children’s cartoon “Dexter’s Laboratory,” and a tribute to one of the National Aviary’s former pelicans named Dexter.
  3. Morada, which references the town where the pelican was found injured — Islamorada, Florida.

The National Aviary encourages the public to come and meet this pelican in the wetlands habitat.

For a close encounter with the new pelican, visitors can purchase three fish for $1 or a cup of fish for $5 to feed to the pelicans during the twice-a-day feedings.

Although rehabilitated after a wing injury, the bird cannot fly and cannot return to the wild. She has taken up residency in the Aviary’s wetlands habitat where another rehabilitated brown pelican, Ralph, lives.

“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 at the Aviary. “It’s been wonderful watching the female Brown Pelican acclimate to her new home in the Wetlands habitat.”

Because of the Aviary staff’s expertise in rehabilitating birds and its immersive habitats such as its wetlands, special-needs birds can live and even flourish there.

The pelican arrived at the 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.

After the votes are tallied, the Aviary will announce the pelican’s name on March 14.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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