Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My World; Pelicans; Pelecanus conspicillatus;

The Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) is a large water bird, widespread on the inland and coastal waters of Australia and New Guinea, also in Fiji, parts of Indonesia and as a vagrant to New Zealand.
The Australian Pelican was first described by Dutch naturalist
Coenraad Jacob Temminck in 1824. Its specific epithet is derived from the Latin verb conspicere 'to perceive', hence 'conspicuous'.
The Australian Pelican is medium-sized by
pelican standards: 1.6 to 1.8 m (5.3-6 ft) long with a wingspan of 2.3 to 2.5 m (7.6–8.3 ft) and weighing 4 to 13 kg (9–29 lb).[1][2] It is predominantly white with black along the primaries of the wings. The pale, pinkish bill is enormous, even by pelican standards, and is the largest bill in the avian world. The record-sized bill was 49 cm (19.5 in) long.
Australian Pelicans prefer large expanses of open water without too much aquatic vegetation. The surrounding environment is unimportant: it can be
forest, grassland, desert, estuarine mudflats, an ornamental city park, or industrial wasteland, provided only that there is open water able to support a sufficient supply of fish.
Australian Pelicans follow no particular schedule of regular movement, simply following the availability of food supplies. When the normally barren
Lake Eyre filled during 1974 to 1976, for example, only a handful of pelicans remained around the coastal cities: when the great inland lakes dried again, the population dispersed once more, flocks of thousands being seen on the northern coasts and some individuals reaching Christmas Island, Palau and New Zealand.
The Australian Pelican begins breeding at two or three years of age. Breeding season varies, occurring in winter in tropical areas (north of 26oS) and late spring in parts of southern Australia. Any time after rainfall is usual in inland areas. The nest is a shallow depression in earth or sand, sometimes with some grass lining. Grassy platforms are constructed at
Lake Alexandrina in South Australia. Nesting is communal, with colonies located on islands or sheltered areas in the vicinity of lakes or the sea. Breeding Australian pelicans will lay one or three chalky-white eggs measuring 93 x 57 mm, which are often scratched and dirty.[3] After they hatch, the larger one will be fed more, and the smaller one will eventually die of starvation. For the first two weeks the chicks will be fed regurgitated liquid, but for the remaining two months they will be fed fish such as goldfish or the introduced European carp, and some invertebrates. Widespread throughout its large range, the Australian Pelican is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Source W
Photo TS.
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  1. Pelicans er beautiful birds which I now a little about thanks to your informative post. Have a great week!

  2. I've always loved pelicans and now, thanks to you, I know a great deal more about them! Great shots and a wonderfully informative post! Thanks! and have a great week!

  3. What a lovely pair.

  4. a most beautiful duo :)
    thanks for enlightening us regarding the pelican's background...quite interesting.
    have a wonderful weekend.

  5. Pelicans are so cool looking, these are great shots.

    Have a great week
    Regina In Pictures

  6. Pelicans are so graceful, I find the sac under the beak most fascinating. Interesting information shared too. :)

  7. Great post on the Pelicans. Unfortunatele they will hardly bebreeding in Lake Alexandrina this year, there is so little water left. For this season Lake Eyre is the alternative since it has been filling up fron the Queensland rains.

  8. Very interesting post! I enjoy watching the Brown Pelicans that we have here on the coast in NC. Their dives are spectacular.

  9. Wow, what a cool bird. Thanks for all the info. That is a huge bill, and they are quite heavy even for their large size. They are very resourceful which probably saves them for being threatened. Great post.

  10. Very cool shot of the pelicans..

    Your post had a lot of interesting infornation in it, about these birds. I didn't know that the occasionaly make it to NZ..

  11. Nice picture of the Pelicans. We saw some pale billed pelicans a few weeks back. They are loud!

    Thanks for all that information on the birds.

  12. Great post with lots of interesting details. Do like the looks of that pastry recipe too. Thanks for sharing with us all.