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Pelican: Great White

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Jay
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Pelican: Great White

Unread postby Jay » Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:45 pm

Image

Great White Pelican- Pelecanus onocrotalus

Description:
Female: 8kg, Male 11kg
Wingspan: 2-3.5m
Locally fairly common

Moos and grunts similar to hippo

Habitat: estuaries, dams, shallow lakes, lagoons and even bays.

Food: fish, but are records of eating water bird’s chicks.

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Yolandé Oelsen
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Pelicans in Kruger

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:49 am

During our July08 Kruger trip we saw 3 Pelicans just outside of Punda Maria on the S60. I was amazed as in my limited (but growing) interest and knowledge of birds I though Pelicans you'll only find at the coast.

What would these birds eat here?
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wildtuinman
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Re: Pelicans in Kruger

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:01 am

They eat fish.

Pelicans are found surprisingly often at some bigger dams on the Eastern side of Kruger. Kanniedood and Engelhard dams are places to go look for it.

I have yet to see a Pelican! :D :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Pelicans in Kruger

Unread postby JoelR » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:16 am

Awesome pics and brilliant sighting, Yolandé! :D

Great-white Pelicans are vagrants in and around Kruger but are sometimes seen around slow-flowing rivers or big dams, like WTM mentioned. I would love to see one in Kruger!

Yolandé Oelsen wrote:What would these birds eat here?

They mainly eat fish. They have been recorded eating fruit, but on the coast mainly supplement their fishy diet with chicks from gulls, penguins or chickens. One pelican was even recorded swallowing a whole adult Reed Cormorant! :shock:

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wildtuinman
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Re: Pelican: Great White

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:54 am

We saw a good number of birds during BBW 2011 just north of Punda Maria. :thumbs_up:
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Pelican: Great White

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:35 pm

The great white pelican is one of the largest flying birds in the world. The majority of’ the bird’s day is spent loafing around on sandbars and small islands, preening and posing like shown here at the Nibela peninsula on the northern end of the St Lucia estuarine system. The 50-odd birds you see in this shot is about a quarter of the birds that graced the little island on the day. I took some wider angled shots, but you start to loose the effect and beauty of the birds as you zoom out. So, in the end I went with this view as a compromise…

Image

At Mkuze NP they breed in a patch of fever trees at Nsumo Pan. The nesting colony contains hundreds of breeding pairs.

The collective name for pelicans is a squadron or a scoop… Scoop… get it? :lol:

When feeding the pans they form cooperative squadrons, scooping together to herd schools of fish into shallower water. The pelican swallows its prey whole, and can manage very large catches, generally up to two kilograms but sometimes even bigger.

This remarkable bird does not need fresh water to drink as they have a “salt gland” that secretes salts from their system.
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

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Re: Pelican: Great White

Unread postby RayK » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:19 pm

Hi Forumites and Stiffnecks,
Here are a few photos of the Great White Pelican that I took in Namibia. Easy to photograph when they know there is a potential meal coming. :)

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