American White Pelican

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos )

The American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos ) is one of the largest waterfowl in the world.


The 170 cm long White Pelican, with a wingspan of almost 3 m, white feathered with black wing tips. In the mating season the bird develops a yellow tuft and the mighty orange beak an up to 7cm high, hump- shaped bill back.

Habitat and Distribution

White Pelican live mainly in large lakes and coastal areas of the United States, Mexico and Central America. The northernmost occurrence located at rapids of the Slave River near Fort Smith in the border area of Wood Buffalo National Park on the southern edge of the Northwest Territories of Canada.

Way of life

The American White Pelican is a highly sociable bird that lives not only in large colonies, but also jointly going to catch prey. Several animals circle this one a school of fish and hunt him in shallow water before they draw their prey with beak wide open from the water. The prey is swallowed whole. When hunting the White Pelican dive unlike the brown pelican is not completely under water, but green delt. In addition to fish include amphibians and crustaceans to his food.

Pull the breeding season, the northern populations in large flocks on land to the south. The American White Pelican breeds in colonies with several hundred breeding pairs. 3 eggs for about 30 days incubated by both parents - in the nest, a mound of earth on the ground, 2 are. The young birds fledge after 70 days. If the colonies disturbed by human visitors, breaking the bird from the breeding.