PALM SHORES, Fla. -- More beaks beg for minnows this week at the Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary.
Twenty-three baby pelicans that washed up from islands in the panhandle during Tropical Storm Debby now flap their budding wings and squawk for finger mullet inside the sanctuary's main pen.
Panhandle bird rescuers who got flooded out by the storm had to evacuate, so they delivered 11 of the pelicans last week and another 12 Sunday.
An animal rehabilitation center in Crawfordville took in about 60 pelicans displaced by Tropical Storm Debby, so other Florida wildlife rescue facilities have been chipping in to help handle all the birds.
"They all look pretty healthy," said Sue Small, the Florida Wildlife Hospital's director.
The baby birds will spend several months at the sanctuary until they grow big enough to return to the wild.
"We plan on releasing them here locally," Small said.