Didn't mama teach you not to gulp your food?

Canyon Lake Teen, Sierra Stephens, attempts to fish while fending off a begging pelican friend.

Credit: Denise Johnston

The pelican didn't seem too happy after gulping down an extra large fish lunch.

Credit: Denise Johnston


Sierra Stephens is a Canyon Lake teen who enjoys video games and fishing. The 15-year-old sophomore was recently fishing with friends at Sunset Beach, joined by a pelican who, according to Sierra, was begging for fish.

Sierra said that, although she didn't think it was a good idea, a nearby fisherman threw the pelican a live bluegill, which the bird caught and swallowed. Unfortunately, the bluegill didn't go down so easily. According to Sierra, she could see the outline of the fish, including fins, wriggling inside the pelican's long neck. It appeared to be stuck.

"After a while the bird looked like he wasn't feeling too well," Sierra says. She and her friends were getting worried. Upon the suggestion of a passerby, the girls called a local animal rescue specializing in birds. However, because they were on another job, it would be a couple hours.

Being an animal lover, Sierra says she knew she had to do something. She located a young woman on the beach who agreed to try to help. Everyone was surprised when the wild bird allowed them to rub his head and neck. Sierra says he knew they were helping him. Luckily, it worked, and the pelican was finally able to get the fish down his throat.

A few minutes later, he spread his wings and flew off, slow and low over the lake. Sierra says she would love to see him again but hopes he's learned his lesson about begging!

Residents often send interesting photographs to The Friday Flyer. This section, "Out and About in Canyon Lake," provides an opportunity for the photos and information that accompany them to be featured ? whether serious or lighthearted. In this way, residents can become reporters for their own community paper! Send photos and information to news@goldingpublications.com.