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Australian Pelican - BirdForum Opus

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Bird shown is in breeding plumage
Photo © by Neil Fifer
Near Sydney, Australia
Pelecanus conspicillatus


Length 160-180 cm, (70-71 in.) wingspan 230-260 cm, (90-91 in.) and weight 4-6.8 kg.
Mainly white, with black tail, primaries, secondaries and inner secondary coverts; also a narrow black wingbar on underside of wing. Very large pale, pinkish bill; dark eye with pale yellow or white eye ring.


Australia and Tasmania; winters to New Guinea region


This is a monotypic species[1].

An extinct subspecies P. c. novaezealandiae has been described from subfossils in New Zealand[2].


Photo © by fthsm
Olympic Park, Sydney, Australia, December 2008

Marine and freshwater environments, lakes and rivers.



They nest communally. The nest is a shallow depression in earth or sand, sometimes with some grass lining. Up to three chalky white eggs are laid.


The diet includes fish.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Scarlett, R. J. (1966). A Pelican in New Zealand. Notornis 13: 204-217.
  3. Wikipedia
  4. BF Member observations

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