Peruvian Pelican

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Common Name: Peruvian Pelican
Scientific Name: Pelecanus thagus

Size: 60 inches (150 cm)

Habitat: South America. Restricted to the coast of central Peru and Chile

Status: Near Threatened. Global Population: 100,000 - 1,000,000 mature individuals. It is likely to have been as badly affected by the El Niño event of 1998 as other Humboldt Current species such as Inca Tern (Larosterna inca), which declines over this period approached 30%. Pelicans are notoriously susceptible to disturbance at breeding colonies, either intentional (e.g. by fishermen), or unintentional (e.g. by tourists). Although the population may currently exceed 500,000 mature individuals, this is a fraction of former numbers and numbers fluctuate greatly in association with El Niño, and with numbers of schooling anchovetas.

Diet: Fish and some marine invertebrates. This Pelican has strong preference for Peruvian Anchovetas (Engraulis ringens). It feeds by diving into the water from flight, like the Brown Pelican.

Nesting: It breeds in large colonies on rocky coasts, feeding in shallow offshore waters along the coast on small schooling fish.

Cool Facts: It used to be considered a subspecies of the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis). The Peruvian birds are nearly twice the bulk of the Brown Pelican, averaging 15.4 lb (7 kg) in weight; they are also longer, measuring about 5 ft (1.5 m) overall.

Found in Songbird ReMix Pelicans

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