Storm Boy unites Pelican lovers

More than 100 Pelican lovers of all ages attended the pre-screening of Storm Boy at the Sun Cinema Bairnsdale recently, hosted by BirdLife Australia as part of the Summer by the Sea Program.

Bird Life Australia, Project Manager for East Gippsland, Deb Sullivan, said the screening was designed to garner interest in the 2019 Gippsland Lakes Great Pelican Count as well as an opportunity to appreciate an Australian classic.

“Storm Boy is an iconic movie and this re-make has again united Pelican and wildlife lovers,” said Ms Sullivan.

“There weren’t many dry eyes leaving the theatre at the end of the screening.

“Pelicans are an iconic species around the Gippsland Lakes, but we actually don’t know much about where they go within the Lake system or where they go to if they leave.

“As part of the Pelican project we’ve begun colour banding the birds so we can get a better idea of their movements.

“We’ve also been documenting the contents of the Pelican nests as part of the project – and a massive 42% of nests surveyed had plastic or other rubbish in them. This is pretty distressing and so avoidable.”

The Great Pelican Count will be held on Sunday, 7 April 2019 from 11.30am to 12noon.

The Great Pelican Count is a BirdLife Australia Citizen science survey designed to provide a snapshot of the Australian Pelican population recorded on the same day and at the same time across the Gippsland Lakes.

This is the second annual count, and will, over time, help quantify the changes in Pelican numbers across the Gippsland Lakes and enable volunteers of all ages to participate in counting one of Australia’s most recognisable birds.

Registrations for the count will open during February.

For more information or to be notified via email when registrations open, please email

This project is funded by the Victorian State Government for the health of the Gippsland Lakes.