Pelecanus conspicullatus

(Birds of Drouin and District booklet P52)


Size: 1.5-1.9m, wingspan up to 2.6m

Sexes alike. Familiar, large black and white bird with a large bill and pink bill-pouch.


Although mostly quiet, the Pelican can issue some gruff croaks at times.


Most of mainland Australia and Tasmania except for the driest areas.

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Breeds almost year-round, depending on conditions. The Pelican builds a rudimentary nest in a ground scrape on a bare island. Often in very large colonies.


Occupies inland and coastal wetlands, estuaries and bays. The Pelican can fly long distances by utilizing rising air thermals. Mostly eats fish and other aquatic animals which are sometimes gathered by a small group of birds working cooperatively. Often seen resting on light standards and bridge or pier structures. The Pelican is a common and highly nomadic bird whose movements are influenced by rain patterns.