Pelican (Eastern white)

A African white pelican at ZSL London Zoo

Latin Name: Pelecanus onocrotalus

What they look like: A large bird with the famous pelican beak. This huge beak is characterised by the skin underneath that allows the pelican to hold large volumes of water. It has a large wing span and white features.

Animal facts:

  • They use their large bills to scoop up fish.
  • Often fish in groups, stretched out in a line to surround a shoal of fish.
  • They do not store or carry food in the pouch.
  • These pelicans turn pink in spring! This is due to a change in diet and being ready to breed.

What they eat: Fish

Habitat: Lakes and marshes, river mouths and along coast line

Where they live: South East Europe, Africa and Asia

Threats: People are a threat when they disturb pelicans and destroy their habitat. 

Conservation Status
Least Concern