The Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) is a large African wetlands bird.
The Great White Pelican is white with grey back feathers, a pink beak with a large yellow pouch, dark eyes with a white eye-ring, and pink legs. It has a bare face with no feathers. On the tip of its beak is a red knob. Its flight feathers are black.
It grows to 140-180 centimetres (55-71 inches) long with a large wingspan of 250-300 centimetres (98-118 inches).
The Great White Pelican is found in the Meditteranean and much of sub-Saharan Africa. It prefers freshwater and salt lakes as well as sea coasts.
It eats fish, usually large fish. Its pouch is used to scoop up fish from the water. Its predators include jackals, crocodiles, and lions.
It nests in trees in vast colonies of up to 30,000 pairs, but it may also nest on the ground. Females lay 1-4 eggs, which take 29-36 days to hatch. The chicks are featherless when they are born, but quickly grow feathers. Both parents care for the young.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM