Australian pelican
Pelecanus conspicillatus


Australian pelicans are one of the largest flying birds they also have a large nail on the tip of the upper part of the bill. They have short legs and large feet with webbing between all four toes.

Non-breeding adults have primarily white plumage. The lower back, primary wing feathers are all black. These pelicans have dark brown eyes. The bill is light pink, as is the gular pouch. The beak can also feature a dark blue stripe and the nail on the tip of the bill is yellow to orange. Their legs, feet and webbing are grey to blue-grey.

Juvenile Australian pelicans are primarily brown in color. The plumage on the head can vary from white to brown. The bill and the gular pouch are a light pink in color. Unlike non-breeding adult Australian pelicans the feet and legs are brownish grey in color instead of blueish grey

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Australian pelicans live very close to water in coastal inlets, shorelines, lakes, swamps and rivers of the interior. They will reside in almost any area that supports a large abundance of fish, but their major habitat is the marine intertidal zone including sandy shoreline, sandbars and spits.


The Australian Pelican is found throughout Australia, Papua New Guinea and western Indonesia, with occasional reports in New Zealand and various western Pacific islands


1.6 - 1.8 m long with a 2.3 - 2.5 m wingspan and the bill is 40 cm - 50 cm long and is larger in males than females

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This distribution guide is provided by The Atlas of Living Australia
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