Although still about 30 percent too low for population stability, productivity of California brown pelicans at their two northern colonies has improved significantly since 1971. Numbers of adults breeding probably reflect food supplies and recruitment from more successful colonies to the south, but improving fledging rates (up to 0.9 young per nest in 1974) reflect better egg survival and improving eggshell condition, with declining DDE contamination in anchovies, their major food source.