Pelecanus conspicillatus
175 000 rub.

Australian pelican(Pelecanus conspicillatus)

Class — aves
Order — pelecaniformes
Family — pelecanidae

Genus –pelecanus


The Australian pelican is medium-sized by pelican standards, with a wingspan of 2.3 to 2.6 m (7.5 to 8.5 ft). Weight can range from 4 to 13 kg (8.8 to 28.7 lb), although most of these pelicans weigh between 4.54 and 7.7 kg (10.0 and 17.0 lb). The pale, pinkish bill is enormous, even by pelican standards, and is the largest bill in the avian world.The record-sized bill was 50 cm (20 in) long. Females are slightly smaller with a notably smaller bill, which can measure as small as 34.6 cm (13.6 in) at maturity. The total length is boosted by the bill to 152–188 cm (60–74 in), which makes it rank alongside the Dalmatian pelican as the longest of pelicans.

Overall, the Australian pelican is predominantly white in color. There is a white panel on the upper-wing and a white-V on the rump set against black along the primaries. During courtship, the orbital skin and distal quarter of the bill are orange-colored with the pouch variously turning dark blue, pink and scarlet. The non-breeding adult has its bill and eye-ring a pale yellow and the pouch is a pale pinkish. Juvenile birds are similar to the adults, but with black replaced with brown and the white patch on upper wing reduced.


Australian pelicans are native to Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste and vagrant to Fiji, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, and Vanuatu.

Australian pelicans follow no particular schedule of regular movement, simply following the availability of food supplies. Drought frequently precedes movements.


Australian pelicans are highly social, diurnal birds that fly together in groups which can be very large at times. They breed in large colonies of up to 40,000 individuals.

They are strong, slow fliers that often glide on thermals to conserve energy. During flight they pull their head inward towards their body and rest it on their shoulders. These birds will travel very long distances in order to find food, and have been known to remain airborne for 24 hours.


Fish is the main bulk of Australian pelicans' diet. They also have been known to eat prawns, amphibians, small reptiles and small mammals. These pelicans eat fish that are between 60 to 247 mm long and weigh 17 to 320 grams. Crustaceans make up a minor part of the diet, but it includes freshwater crayfish and shrimp.


The Australian pelican begins breeding at two or three years of age. The breeding season varies, occurring in winter in tropical areas (north of 26°S) and spring in parts of southern Australia. Breeding may occur any time after rainfall in inland areas.

The nest is a shallow depression in earth or sand, sometimes with some grass lining. Nesting is communal, with colonies located on islands (such as the North Peron Island) or sheltered areas in the vicinity of lakes or the sea.

Breeding Australian pelicans will lay one to four (typically two) chalky-white eggs. The eggs are incubated for 32 to 35 days. The chicks are naked when they hatch, though quickly grow grey down feathers. After they hatch, the larger one will be fed more, and the smaller one will eventually die of starvation or siblicide. For the first two weeks the chicks will be fed regurgitated liquid, but for the remaining two months they will be fed fish and some invertebrates. Feeding pods are formed within colonies when the chicks are around 25 days. The young pelicans fledge at around three months of age.

Typically, pelicans live between 15 and 25 years in the wild. Pelicans can live longer in captivity; the longest-lived captive Australian pelican was 50 years old.


The diet of pelicans should consist mainly of fish. Birds like to eat both small fish, and quite large one-weighing up to 3 kg. The prey is swallowed whole. The fish is digested completely with scales and bones. A bird weighing 5-7 kg can eat up to 9 kg of fish per day. In addition to fish, the diet of the Australian pelican can also include numerous aquatic organisms, such as crustaceans, tadpoles and adult amphibians, as well as small turtles.

They are social birds, should be kept in spacious aviaries with a large reservoir. Nesting can begin at any time of the year.