White Pelican

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(Redirected from Great White Pelican)
White Pelican
Great White Pelican at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, North Devon, England
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Pelecaniformes
Family:Pelecanidae
Genus:Pelecanus
Species:P. onocrotalus
Binomial name
Pelecanus onocrotalus
Linnaeus, 1758

The White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) is a bird in the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia in swamps and shallow lakes. The tree nest is a crude heap of vegetation.

This is a large pelican, at 160cm length and with a 280cm wingspan. It differs from the Dalmatian Pelican by its pure white, rather than greyish-white, plumage, a bare pink facial patch around the eye and pinkish legs. Immature birds are grey and have dark flight feathers.

More than 50% of White Pelicans breed in the Danube Delta. This pelican migrates short distances, wintering in northeast Africa. In flight, it is an elegant soaring bird, with the neck is then held back like a heron's.

Pelicans catch fish in their huge bill pouches, most, like this species, while swimming at the surface.

Like the Dalmatian Pelican, this species has declined greatly through habitat loss and persecution.

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