In the months since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, hundreds of soaring brown pelicans -- Louisiana's official state bird -- have been drenched in oil and grounded, their startling images now powerful symbols of the sweeping damages delivered by a stubborn leak.
For more than four decades, thousands of these graceful anglers nested along Louisiana's marshes and barrier islands, a remarkable narrative of survival considering they were nearly killed off by pesticides in the 1950s and '60s, but rebounded with the generous help of Florida preservationists, who sent more than 1,200 young birds there to start new colonies.
Now, some of the descendants of those early pelicans are returning to Florida skies in a tragic homecoming caused by the largest environmental disaster in the nation's history.
Read the complete story at miamiherald.com
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