While some may have been confused by the announcement of “Squadron” as Birmingham’s NBA G-League team name, bird experts smiled from beak to beak. Keep reading to learn about the brown pelican and how it landed in Birmingham.
Pelicans make the perfect mascot
Birmingham Squadron’s parent team is the New Orleans Pelicans, named after Louisiana’s state bird—the brown pelican. While a pelican may seem like a strange mascot, the brown pelican is one of the most resilient species to grace the country.
“Brown pelicans are really amazing birds. They are huge (with a wingspan of about 7 feet), and can look a bit awkward, but they soar through the air with this beauty and grace that is awe-inspiring. They are also an incredible success story; pelicans were nearly gone from the Gulf Coast by the 1960s, but when DDT was banned in 1972, the population started to rebound.”Lianne Koczur, PhD, Science & Conservation Director of Alabama Audubon
Between surviving endangerment due to DDT, hurricanes, and the Gulf Coast oil spills, the brown pelican has proven it can make it through any adversity. Undoubtedly, brown pelicans were a clear choice for New Orleans’ mascot.
Birds of a feather flock together
If you aren’t an ornithologist (bird expert), you probably didn’t know that a group of pelicans can be called a squadron. Other names include pod, pouch and scoop, but I think we can all agree squadron sounds much cooler. Alabama Audubon’s Outreach and Communications Director Sarah Randolph is excited about the Squadron name choice.
“Anything that draws attention to birds and their conservation, Alabama Audubon is all about.”Sarah Randolph, Alabama Audubon, Outreach and Communications Director
Get to know the Alabama Audubon
Alabama Audubon‘s mission is to “promote the conservation and greater knowledge of birds, their habitats and the natural world.” To support, you can become a member with a $20 annual donation, volunteer in their community science programs or pre-commit for a specialty Alabama Audubon license plate! Be sure to tell your friends to sign up by October 31st to start production.