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Great White Pelican

About Great White Pelican

Huge, long-necked waterbird with a very short tail, and a long pink bill with a large yellow pouch extending from throat to near tip of lower mandible. Plumage is mostly white, with all primary feathers black above and below. They have pink legs and feet with all four toes webbed. They have red eyes.

They breed in spring in the north in large colonies. Some colonies have up to 40,000 breeding pairs. Their nest are made of a large pile of reeds, twigs, and other plant material, usually in a reedbed or on an island in wetland vegetation, but sometimes on bare soil or rock far from water. They have 1-3 white eggs, incubated for 35-36 days.

The pelican is a extremely sociable bird that breeds, roosts, and feeds in flocks of 50 to 500 birds. Groups of pelicans fish swimming forward in a semicircle to herd the fish togeter. Each bird uses his pouch like a fishing net, opening the pouch to scoop up a hugh weight of fish and water. It then drains off the water before swallowing the fish whole. It will eat about 2.5 lb of fish a day. Either alot of small fish or a few large ones.In spite of its large size and weight the great white pelican is a majestic flyer. They can fly long distances to reach their breeding sites.