In 2016, there was a documented Brown Pelican sighting in Port Renfrew, BC, and in 2018-2019 there were five others in Victoria, BC.
Chris Darimont Tweeted:
Brown pelican at St Margerats Bay just now— Chris Darimont (@ChrisDarimont) September 5, 2019
Thought I was back in Santa Cruz@VictoriaNHS @Raincoast @BStarzomski pic.twitter.com/846hAA3l3F
Tom Okey wrote:
The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is a resident of tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas, and its range has also included some temperate coastlines for feeding and wintering. iNaturalist observations of this species have expanded northward throughout coastal Oregon and Washington and into southern British Columbia since the beginning of the 21st century, and especially during the last decade. Caution is warranted due to the temporal bias of iNaturalist observation data, but a signal of increasing observability in the north is still likely reflective of a real world trend.
There are no iNaturalist observations north of San Francisco in 2000 and none north of Cape Mendocino in 2005. By 2010, there were numerous iNaturalist observations of Brown Pelicans up the coasts of Oregon and Washington to Cape Flattery at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula, while the Strawberry Isl Marine Research Society was measuring the increasing Brown Pelican Population in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, Canada. By 2011 there were iNaturalist observations of Brown Pelicans in Puget Sound. In 2016, there was a documented Brown Pelican sighting in Port Renfrew, BC, and in 2018-2019 there were five others in Victoria, BC.
The observations of Brown Pelicans on the eBird database tells a similar story, except that due to a more extensive bird observations dataset, this apparent range expansion is indicted to be earlier, such as starting in the 1970s or 1980s. These observation data suffer from the same 'temporal bias' problem as the iNaturalist database, and the other major problem with the interpretation of such a trend is that the California Brown Pelican population dipped to extremely low numbers by the early 1970s due to eggshell thinning related to exposure to DDT and other pesticides and industrial chemicals, and their slow population recovery after that event could help explain this apparent northward expansion as well. Thus it is not clear why this apparent range expansion occurred, or the real extent of its occurrence.