Great White Pelican

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Common Name: Great White Pelican
Scientific Name: Pelecanus onocrotalus

Size: 63 inches (160 cm)

Habitat: Europe, Asia and Africa; they breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia and in Africa in swamps and shallow lakes. More than 50% of White Pelicans breed in the Danube Delta. This pelican migrates short distances, wintering in northeast Africa.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 270,000 - 290,000 mature individuals. This species has declined greatly through habitat loss and persecution. The White Pelican is one of the species to which the “Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds” (AEWA) applies.

Diet: Fish and some marine invertebrates. Prey is caught by fishing from the water surface. This pelican is known to also eat unsuspecting birds (primarily pigeons) as recorded at St. James's Park in London. They swallow them whole and still alive.

Nesting: Males are larger than females, and have a long beak that grows in a downwards arc, as opposed to the shorter, straighter beak of the female. Immature birds are grey and have dark flight feathers. The tree nest is a crude heap of vegetation. All Pelicans nest in colonies.

Cool Facts: There is a group of three semi-wild white pelicans living on Pelican Island, St. James's Park in London. Their ancestors were originally given to Charles II by Russian Ambassadors in 1664 which initiated the tradition of ambassadors donating the birds. These particular descendents are noted as being the “pigeon eaters” of the park.

Pelecanus onocrotalus also known as the “Eastern White Pelican”.

Found in Songbird ReMix Pelicans

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