Pelecanus onocrotalus

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Indonesia Bird with 0 Comments

Pelecanus onocrotalus, White Pelican, Undan Putih

Pelecanus-onocrotalus-01-800

The White Pelican, Pelecanus Pelecanus-onocrotalus, White Pelicanonocrotalus also known as the Eastern White Pelican or Great White Pelican is a bird in the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia and in Africa in swamps and shallow lakes. The tree nest is a crude heap of vegetation.

This is a large pelican, at a mass of 10 kg (22 lbs), 160 cm (63 in) long and with a 280 cm (110 inch) wingspan. It differs from the Dalmatian Pelican, the only larger species of pelican, by its pure white, rather than greyish-white, plumage, a bare pink facial patch around the eye and pinkish legs. 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.

More than 50% of White Pelicans breed in the Danube Delta in Romania. This pelican migrates short distances, wintering in northeast Africa. In flight, it is an elegant soaring bird, with the head held close to and aligned with the body by a downward bend in the neck.

Pelicans catch fish in their huge bill pouches, while swimming at the surface. They also eat amphibians, crustaceans and small birds.

Like the Dalmatian Pelican, 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.

There is a group of three semi-wild white pelicans living on Pelican Island, St. James’s Park, London. Their ancestors were originally given to Charles II by Russian Ambassadors in 1664 which initiated the tradition of ambassadors donating the birds.

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