Ponds and Lakes Animals

Great White Pelican
Great White Pelican
Class: Aves: Birds Diet: Fish
Order: Pelecaniformes: Seabirds
Size: 140 - 175 cm (55 - 69 in)
Family: Pelecanidae: Pelicans Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Pelecanus onocrotalus Habitat: inland lakes, marshes
Range: Southeastern Europe, Asia, Africa

Size of Great White PelicanA large white bird with the characteristic pouched bill, the great white pelican is well adapted for aquatic life. The short strong legs and webbed feet propel it in water and aid the rather awkward takeoff from the water surface. Once aloft, the long-winged pelicans are powerful fliers, however, and often travel in spectacular V-formation groups. The pelican's pouch is simply a scoop. As the pelican pushes its bill underwater, the lower bill bows out, creating a large pouch which fills with water and fish. As the bird lifts its head, the pouch contracts, forcing out the water but retaining the fish. A group of 6 to 8 great white pelicans will gather in a horseshoe formation in the water to feed together. They dip their bills in unison, creating a circle of open pouches, ready to trap every fish in the area.  Large numbers of these pelicans breed together in colonies. The female lays 2 to 4 eggs in a nest of sticks in a tree or on the grass. The young are cared for by both parents.

Range of Great White Pelican
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