Officials in North Dakota are looking for 27,000 American white
pelicans that are missing. They’ve abandoned their summer nesting
grounds—leaving their eggs unhatched—at the Chase National Wildlife
“It’s like they packed up and left in the middle of the night— except
they didn’t pack up, they just left,” says Ken Torkelson of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service. They first noticed the missing birds about
2 weeks ago.
Ranger Kim Hanson says, “We don’t think they were killed. We think
they abandoned their nest(s).” The birds that stayed behind seem
One cause could be the impending pole shift, in which the Earth’s
magnetic fields will reverse. The magnetic fields have already
started to move, which has confused some migratory birds, causing
them to end up in the wrong destination.
Several readers have pointed out another possibility: Nearby Minot is
home to the 91st Air Force Space Command, which could be sending out
signals that have disrupted the birds’ sense of direction.