Great White Pelican - Pelecanus onocrotalus


General Information


Pelecanus onocrotalus

Common Name : Great White Pelican
Scientific Name : Pelecanus onocrotalus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Order : Pelecaniformes
Family : Pelecanidae
Taxonomic Group : Pelecaniformes - Pelecanidae ( Pelicans )
Vernacular Name : Sindh: Pen, Hindi: Hawasil, Bihar: Bellua, Birwa, Bherwa, Bengal: Ganggoya, Gaganber, Garapolo, Gorapullo, Assam: Dhera, Bhela, Manipur: Uphong, Gujarat: Gulabi pen, Kutch: Pen, Orissa: Raja hansa, Tamil: Koolakeda, Telugu: Chinkabatu, Malayalam (Kerala):



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Taxonomy



Common Name : Great White Pelican
Scientific Name : Pelecanus onocrotalus
Order : Pelecaniformes Family : Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
Range : Locally in s-central Eurasia, s Asia and Africa

This Species is Monotypic, No Subspecies


3rd Edition, 2003. Revised and Corrected per Corrigenda to December 31, 2006

Common Name : Great White Pelican
Scientific Name : Pelecanus onocrotalus

This Species is Monotypic, No Subspecies



IOC Common Name : Great White Pelican
IOC Scientific Name : Pelecanus onocrotalus

Distribution :
Region : EU Range : c, sw
Non Breeding Range : AF, n India

Order : PELECANIFORMES Family : Pelecanidae
Category : Pelicans



SYNOPIS NO : 20

Scientific Name: Pelecanus onocrotalus
Common Name: White/Rosy Pelican



Common Name : Great White Pelican
Scientific Name : Pelecanus onocrotalus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Birdlife Synonym : White Pelican (6); White Pelican (7)

BirdLife Redlist Status Year 2010: LC
BirdLife Species FactSheet for Great White Pelican ( Pelecanus onocrotalus )

Taxonomy Treatment : R




IUCN Common Name (Eng) : Great White Pelican, White Pelican
Scientific Name : Pelecanus onocrotalus (Linnaeus, 1758)
French Name : Pélican Blanc
IUCN Redlist Species FactSheet for Great White Pelican, White Pelican ( Pelecanus onocrotalus )

Species : onocrotalus
Genus : Pelecanus
Family : Pelecanidae Order : Pelecaniformes

IUCN RedList Status : LC

IUCN RedList Criteria Version : 3.1
IUCN RedList Year Assessed : 2008
IUCN RedList Petitioned : N



Family : PELECANIDAE

Scientific Name : Pelecanus onocrotalus
Common Name : Great White Pelican



Bibliography


Bibliography of Great White Pelican ( Pelecanus onocrotalus )
Number of Results found : 82

1. Nanjan Sheeba & Lalitha Vijayan , (2009), Record of the Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus from Uppalapadu, Andhra Pradesh, India, INDIAN BIRDS, 5:1: .


2. Humayun Taher & Umesh Mani , (2008), Sighting of the Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus at Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India, INDIAN BIRDS, 4:1: .


3. Bowker MB;Downs CT; , (2008), Breeding incidence of the Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus and the Pink-backed Pelican P. rufescens in south-eastern Africa from 1933 to 2005, Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology, 79:1: 23 - 35.


4. F. JIGUET, A. DOXA, A. ROBERT , (2008), The origin of out-of-range pelicans in Europe: wild bird dispersal or zoo escapes?, Ibis, 150:3: 606 - 618.


5. Bowker MB;Downs CT; , (2008), The status of habitat of great white and pink-backed pelicans in northeastern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a review, African Zoology, 43:1: 90 - 98.


6. Balouch M; Elahi-Rad Z; Sehhatisabet ME , (2007), Ringing four breeding waterbird species at Lake Tashk, Iran - supplemental data., Sandgrouse, 29: 208 - 210.


7. Kreuzberg-Mukhina E; Lanovenko Y , (2007), The ornithological regime in the Sudochie wetland, Uzbekistan., Sandgrouse, 29: 149 - 166.


8. Arkhipov VY , (2006), Status and distribution of selected bird species on the Russia-Kazakhstan border northwest of the Caspian Sea., Sandgrouse, 28: 156 - 160.


9. Sehhatisabet ME; Balouch M; Bahman-Pour A; Khaleghizadeh A; Elahi-Rad Z , (2006), Ringing four breeding waterbird species at Lake Tashk., Sandgrouse, 28: 106 - 113.


10. Craig Robson , (2005), Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), BIRDS OF SOUTH-EAST ASIA; New Holland Publishers Ltd, : 70.


11. RF Porter; S.Christensen; P.Schiermacker-Hansen , (2004), Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), BIRDS OF THE MIDDLE EAST; Poyser, : 14.


12. Ryan PG , (2004), Pink-backed Pelicans feeding communally with Great White Pelicans., Ostrich, 75(3): 168.


13. Knysh NP , (2004), [Vagrants of pelicans in Sumy region.], Berkut, 13: 297 - 298.


14. Alon D; Granit B; Shamoun-Baranes J; Leshem Y; Kirwan GM; Shirihai H , (2004), Soaring-bird migration over northern Israel in autumn., British Bird, 97: 160 - 182.


15. Gillham E , (2004), White Pelicans taking Feral Pigeons and ducks in St. James Park., British Birds, 97: 47.


16. Shamoun-Baranes J;Leshem Y;Yom-Tov Y;Liechti O; , (2003), DIFFERENTIAL USE OF THERMAL CONVECTION BY SOARING BIRDS OVER CENTRAL ISRAEL, The Condor, 105:2: 208 - 218.


17. Izhaki I;Shmueli M;Arad Z;Steinberg Y;Crivelli A; , (2002), Satellite Tracking of Migratory and Ranging Behavior of Immature Great White Pelicans, Waterbirds, 25:3: 295 - 304.


18. Dale A.Zimmerman; Donald A.Turner; David J.Pearson , (2001), Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), BIRDS of KENYA & NORTHERN TANZANIA; Princeton University Press, : 14 / 274.


19. Joseph Kren , (2001), Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), BIRDS OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC; Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd, : 67.


20. Lahkar BP;Deka B; , (2001), Occurrence of Rosy Pelican in Deepar Beel Bird Sanctuary, Assam, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 41:1: 12.


21. Urban EK; Ash JS , (2001), Longevity record of a Great White Pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus, from Lake Shala, Ethiopia., Ostrich, 72(1&2): 123 - 124.


22. Simeonov p; Mitchev T; Dobler G; Crivelli AJ , (2001), White Pelicans breeding in Bulgaria., British Birds, 94: 390.


23. Krys Kazmierczak; Ber van Perlo , (2000), Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), A FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT; Yale University Press, : 42.


24. MARVA SHMUELI, IDO IZHAKI, AMI ARIELI, ZEEV ARAD , (2000), Energy requirements of migrating Great White Pelicans Pelecanus onocrotalus, Ibis, 142:2: 208 - 216.


25. K.Mullarney; L.Svensson; D.Zetterstrom; P.J.Grant , (1999), Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), COLLINS BIRD GUIDE - BRITAIN & EUROPE; Collins, : 027.


26. YOSSI LESHEM, YORAM YOM-TOV , (1998), Routes of migrating soaring birds , Ibis, 140:1: 41 - 52.


27. Talukdar BK;Barman R;Das RK; , (1998), Records of Rosy Pelican in Assam during summer, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 38:5: 87.


28. Khacher L; , (1998), My year of the Pelicans, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 38:1: 3 - 4.


29. Ian Sinclair; Phil Hockey; Warwick Tarboton , (1997), Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), BIRDS of SOUTHERN AFRICA; 2nd edition, Princeton University Press, : 58.


30. Kwater, E. , (1997), An unusual pelican in Beaver County [Pennsylvania]?, PA Birds, 11: 55 - 57.


31. Urfi AJ; , (1996), On some new breeding records of waterbirds from the Delhi region, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 93:1: 94 - 95.


32. Kairu, J. K. , (1996), Heavy metal residues in birds of Lake Nakuru, Kenya., African Journal of Ecology, 34: 397 - 400.


33. van den Berg, A. B. , (1996), White Pelican in Zuid-Kennemerland in August 1974âJanuary 1975., Dutch Birding, 18: 79 - 81.


34. Leshem, Y., Y. Yom-Tov. , (1996), The magnitude and timing of migration by soaring raptors, pelicans and storks over Israel., Ibis, 138: 188 - 203.


35. Leshem, Y., Y. Yom-Tov. , (1996), The use of thermals by soaring migrants., Ibis, 138: 667 - 674.


36. Newton, S. F., P. Symens. , (1996), The status of the Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) and the Great White Pelican (P. onocrotalus) in the Red Sea: the importance of Saudi Arabia., Colonial Waterbirds, 19: 56 - 64.


37. NICOLA SAINO, MAURO FASOLA, EDWARD WAIYAKP , (1995), Do White Pelicans Pelecanus onocrotalus benefit from foraging in flocks using synchronous feeding?, Ibis, 137:2: 227 - 230.


38. Yarar, M. , (1995), Aktas Golu: a new pelican breeding site on the Turkish-Georgian border., Bulletin of the Ornithological Society of the Middle East, 35: 46 - 48.


39. Vogrin, M., N. Vogrin. , (1995), [White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus at Dravsko polje in NE Slovenia.], Acrocephalus, 16(71): 98 - 100.


40. ZHATKANBAYEV, A. H. , (1994), The present state of pelican populations (Pelecanus onocrotalus and Pelecanus crispus) in Kazakhstan, Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, 114: 202.


41. Varu SN;Tiwari JK; , (1994), The Great White Pelican in Kutch, Gujarat, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 34:6: 133 - 134.


42. Khacher L; , (1994), Rosy Pelicans Pelecanus onocrotalus Linn., in the Himalaya, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 91:3: 452.


43. Jacob TT;Pramod P;Gangadharan K;Mahesh M; , (1994), First record of the Rosy Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus Linnaeus in Kerala, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 91:3: 452.


44. , (1994), From the field: Bangladesh, Oriental Bird Club Bulletin, 19:: 65.


45. Izhaki, I. , (1994), Preliminary data on the importance of Israel for the conservation of the White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus L., Ostrich, 65: 213 - 217.


46. Be'er, R. , (1994), [Detecting White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) nocturnal movements by radar, Bet-Shean Valley.], Torgos, 24: 44 - 45.


47. Izhaki, I., M. Dagan-Shmueli. , (1994), [The biology and ecology of the Great White Pelican during migration over Israel.], Torgos, 24: 30 - 43.


48. Magnin, G., M. Yarar. , (1994), Some notes on the breeding of Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber and White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus in Turkey., Bulletin of the Ornithological Society of the Middle East, 32: 28 - 30.


49. Tiwari JK; , (1993), Great White Pelican Pelicanus onocrotalus [sic] Linnaeus recoveries from Kutch and Rajkot Districts of Gujarat, Ornithological Society of India Bangalore, : 104.


50. Nair MV; , (1993), Rosy Pelican at Aakkulam, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 33:1: 7 - 8.


51. Varu SN;Khatri MB; , (1992), Recovery of a Russian-ringed Rosy (White) Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus Linn. in Kutch, Gujarat, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 89:2: 246.


52. Tatu KS; , (1992), Rosy Pelican, White Stork and Black Tern at Thol Wildlife Sanctuary, N. Gujarat, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 32:5-6: 17 - 18.


53. Roberts TJ; , (1992), Sri Lankan pelicans, Ceylon Bird Club Notes, 1992:May: 66 - 67.


54. Kägi-Hubmann, L. , (1992), [A new breeding site of Great White Pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus, in central Anatolia, Turkey.], Zoology in the Middle East, 7: 5 - 9.


55. Malhotra AK; , (1991), A success story of White or Rosy Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus), Zoos' Print, 6:7: 14.


56. Akhtar A;Tiwari JK; , (1991), Notes from Kutch, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 31:11-12: 10 - 11.


57. , (1990), Recent reports: Pakistan, Oriental Bird Club Bulletin, 11:May: 45.


58. Pyrovetsi, M. , (1989), Foraging trips of White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) breeding on Lake Mikri Prespa, Greece., Colonial Waterbirds, 12: 43 - 50.


59. Chellam R; , (1988), Lions and pelicans, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 28:3-4: 18.


60. Mahe, E. , (1988), [White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus breeding at Mogode (north Cameroon).], Alauda, 56: 180 - 181.


61. Motjé i Costa, L. , (1988), [Note on the presence of Pelecanus onocrotalus L. in Catalonia.], Bull. Inst. Catal. Hist. Nat. Barcelona, 55: 119 - 120.


62. Hatzilacos, D. , (1986), Preliminary data on the breeding and feeding biology of the White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) at Lake Mikra Prespa., Biologia Gallo-Hellenica, 12: 497 - 506.


63. Paspaleva M;Kiss JB;Talepeanu M; , (1985 ), [Colonial birds in the Danube Delta (Romania).], Travaux du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle 'grigore Antipa', 27: 289.


64. Guillet, A., R. W. Furness. , (1985), Energy requirements of a Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) population and its impact on fish stocks., Journal of Zoology, London, 205A: 573 - 583.


65. Urban, E. K , (1984), Time of egg-laying and number of nesting Great White Pelicans at Lake Shala, Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa., Proc. Pan-African Ornithol. Congr., 5: 809 - 823.


66. Crivelli, A. J., R. W. Schreiber. , (1984), Status of Pelecanidae., Biological Conservation, 30: 147 - 156.


67. Rüdiger, A. , (1984), [The last pelicans of Europe.], Fauna och Flora, 79: 61 - 65.


68. Beesley, J. S. S. , (1981), A breeding record of White Pelicans Pelecanus onocrotalus in Tanzania., Scopus, 5: 125.


69. Guillet, A., T. M. Crowe. , (1981), Seasonal variations in group size and dispersion in a population of Great White Pelicans, Pelecanus onocrotalus., Gerfault, 71: 185 - 194.


70. Crawford, R. J. M., J. Cooper, P A. Shelton. , (1981), The breeding population of White Pelicans Pelecanus onocrotalus at Bird Rock platform in Walvis Bay, 1949--1978., Fish. Bull. S. Africa, 15: 67 - 70.


71. Kumar P; , (1980), A survey of the birds of Andhra Pradesh - 2, Mayura, 1:2: 14 - 17.


72. P. J. JONES , (1979), Variability of Egg Size and Composition in the Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) , The Auk, 96:2: 407 - 408.


73. Salim Ali; S Dillon Ripley  , (1978), No. 20. White or Rosy Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) Linnaeus, Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, Volume 1 (Divers to Hawks ): 27.


74. Emil K. Urban, T. G. Jefford , (1977), MOVEMENTS OF JUVENILE GREAT WHITE PELICANS PELECANUS ONOCROTALUS FROM LAKE SHALA, ETHIOPIA, Ibis, 119:4: 524 - 528.


75. N. A. Din, S. R. Eltringham , (1974), ECOLOGICAL SEPARATION BETWEEN WHITE AND PINK-BACKED PELICANS IN THE RUWENZOFU NATIONAL PARK, UGANDA , Ibis, 116:1: 28 - 43.


76. Leslie H. Brown, Diana Powell-Cotton, John B. D. Hopcraft , (1973), THE BREEDING OF THE GREATER FLAMINGO AND GREAT WHITE PELICAN IN EAST AFRICA, Ibis, 115:3: 352 - 374.


77. R. M. Baxter, Emil K. Urban , (1970), ON THE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF THE FEATHER COLOURATION IN THE GREAT WHITE PELICAN PELECANUS ONOCROTALUS ROSEUS IN ETHIOPIA, Ibis, 112:3: 336 - 339.


78. L. H. Brown, Emil K. Urban , (1969), THE BREEDING BIOLOGY OF THE GREAT WHITE PELICAN PELECANUS ONOCROTALUS ROSEUS AT LAKE SHALA, ETHIOPIA, Ibis, 111:2: 199 - 237.


79. Ali S; , (1960), 'Flamingo City' re-visited: nesting of the Rosy Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus Linnaeus) in the Rann of Kutch, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 57:2: 412 - 415.


80. TRAVÃ, F. , (1954), Captura de un Pelecanus onocrotalus en Mallorca. , Ardeola, 1: 124 - 124.


81. Law SC; , (1925), Occurrence of Pelecanus roseus in the Vizagapatam District, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 30:2: 483 - 484.


82. Hume AO; , (1887), Our Indian Pelicans, Stray Feathers, 10:6: 487 - 502.



Book Excerpts



1003.  Pelecanus javanicus, Horsfield.

Lin, Trans. XIII 197-Blyth, Cat. 1741 (in part)-P. onocrotalus of some Indian writers-perhaps of Pallas-P. roseus, Gmelin-P. minor, Ruppell, Mus. Senken., and Ueber. Faun. Abyss., pl 49?-P. calorhynchus,  Hodgson.

The Lesser white Pelican.

Descr.- White, In fresh plumage with a highly roseate tint; primaries dusky; secondaries grey externally; tertiaries whitish, with broad black margins on each side, internally greyish; tail white.

The feathers of the head and neck are disposed much as in P. onocrotalus, but in general there is a more marked, small occipital erest, and the feathers of the breast, in some, are rich golden-yellow.

Bill blue In the centre, red and yellow on the sides, the tip blood red; lower mandible bluish posteriorly, yellow In front ; skin of the face pale fleshy ; pouch yellow, veined with purplish red ; irides blood red; legs fleshy pink. Length 4 feet 8 inches ; wing 24 to 25 inches; tail 6 ½ ; tarsus 4 ; mid-toe and claw 4 ½ ; bill 12 to 13.

I find It very difficult to determine what the small white Peliean of India really Is, having but few specimens to examine and none except from India. Horsfield originally described javanicus as white with a short crest, the primaries black, the secondaries and feathers of the back (scapulars or tertiaries) margined with black, and the shaft white, the tall white, about 4 feet long. This agrees well enough with our bird. P. roseus from Manilla is described as rosy white throughout, and of the size of a goose. Ruppell describes his P. minor as similar to onocrotalus, but much smaller, the nude skin of the face less extended, and the tuft or crest more occipital than the corresponding feathers of onocrotalus, the feathers of the lower part of the neck lengthened, and pale yellowish, and the wing-coverts more rounded and less pointed than In onocrotalus. Length 4 feet 4 inches; wing 23 1/2 inches; tarsus 4 1/6; mid-toe 4 1/3. Bill yellowish at base, blue In the middle, and yellowish grey on the sides; orbits and pouch yellowish.

This appears to be the most abundant of the white Pelicans that visit India.   I am not aware of Its breeding In this country.

Fore-head with the frontal plumes not narrowed In front, but truncated and emarginate ; bill with a double series of Impressed dark spots.   Can Ruppell’s bird be the female of P. mitratus ?




1001.  Pelecanus onocrotalus, LINNAEUS.

SHAW, Zool-Latham. Gen. Hist,-Gould, Birds of Europe, pl, 405?-P. Javanicus, apud Blyth, Cat, 1741 A.-Lichtens- tein, Abhand. Akad. Berlin, 1838, pl. III, f. 1.

The european Pelican.

Descr.-Plumage pure white, in some tinged faintly with rosy; primaries and winglet black ; the first primaries with white shafts, and the secondaries with the outer webs white, and the inner grey ; occiput with a very small crest of the same kind as the feathers on the neck, short and close ; rump and tail white; the feathers of the back and wing-coverts short and rounded, all the feathers white-shafted. Lichtenstein however states, with reference to this point, that in females these feathers are always more rounded than in the males, and that moreover the tuft or crest is smaller.

Bill reddish at the base, yellowish towards the point, with a crimson central line extending to the tip ; nude orbits fleshy; pouch yellowish mixed with red and purple; irides brown or grey ; legs and feet livid fleshy with a tinge of yellow. Length of a specimen in the Museum of the Asiatic Society 5 feet 8 inches ; wing 28 ; tail 8 ; bill 15 ½ ; tarsus 4 ½ ; middle toe and claw 5 ¼. The bill is said to be above 16 inches occasionally. Shaw and Latham both give the expanse as 15 feet, but that is evidently erroneous. Weight 25 lbs. (Pallas.)

This bird certainly appears to be the true onocrotalus of Linnaeus and the older authors. All describe the crest as very small and Shaw’s figure corresponds exactly with the specimen in the Asiatic Society’s Museum from India, and one lately received from Hungary as true onocrotalus does not differ. Pallas correctly says that the feathers of the neck are small, and soft, and that those at the nape are a little longer, forming a sub-crest. He however gives smaller dimensions than those above.

Lichtenstein, in his paper in the Transact, Royal Academy of Berlin for 1838, states that “ the cheek feathers are broad and rounded, and that those of hind head are very small short feathers, collected together into a small tuft which, in young birds, or in adults by abrasion, are often scarcely perceptible,” In the specimens examined the feathers of the neck are open, flimsy and downy, slightly curving upwards near the occiput where they form a small, slightly recurved tuft.

Bree in his Birds of Europe figures, apparently, the crested Pelican, P. mitratus of Lichtenstein, as onocrotalus; and Blyth also considered the fully-crested bird to be the common European species. I see however that Gurney, in a paper on the Birds of Africa, recognises P. mitratus as a distinct species.

This large white Pelican is a regular visitant to India during the cold weather, sometimes appearing in considerable flocks, and clearing whole tanks and jheels of their fish, to the dismay of the fishermen. They form a dense line across the tank, and regularly hunt it from one end to the other.




Pelecanus javanicus, Horsf.

 

1003. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 857 ; P. onocrotalus, Lin.; Butler, Guzerat, Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 32 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 330.

The Lesser White Pelican.

Length, 56 ; wing, 25 ; tail, 6.5 ; tarsus, 4 ; bill, 12 to 13.

Bill bluish, red and yellow on the sides, tip blood-red ; lower mandible bluish posteriorly, yellow in front; pouch yellow, veined with purplish-red ; irides blood-red ; legs fleshy pink.

White, in fresh plumage with a highly roseate tint; primaries dusky ; secondaries grey externally; tertiaries whitish with broad black margins on each side, internally greyish; tail white.

With the exception of the Deccan the Lesser White Pelican is more or less common throughout the district.

It only occurs as a visitant, and does not remain to breed.





1455. Pelecanus roseus, Gm.

 

Syst. Nat. i. p. 570; Oates, B. Br. Burm, ii, p. 239. Pelecanus javanicus, Horsf., Trans. Linn. Soc. xiii. p. 197; Jerd., B. Ind. iii. p. 857 ; Elliot, P. Z. S. 1869, p. 581 ; Hume, Str. F. vii. p. 116. Pelecanus onocrotalus, Jerd., B. Ind. iii. p. 854. Pelecanus minor, apud. Oates, Str. F. x. p. 247. Pelecanus mitratus (Licht.), Jerd. B. Ind. iii p. 856. -

The Eastern White Pelican.
 

Occipital crest small, yellowish white; head, neck, upper and lower surface of body white, with a roseate tinge ; primaries dusky ; secondaries grey externally ; tertiaries white, with broad black margins, internally greyish; tail white; bill blue in the centre, red and yellow on the sides, the tip blood red ; lower mandible bluish posteriorly, yellow in front; pouch yellow ; irides blood red-; legs fleshy pink.

 

Length. - 56 inches; wing 24 to 25 ; tail 6.5 ; tarsus 4 ; mid-toe and claw 4.5 ; bill 12 to 3
inches.

 

Hab. - Nearly throughout India and Burmah, arriving in August, and leaving during January and February.





1521. Pelecanus onocrotalus.

 

The White or Roseate Pelican.

Pelecanus onocrotalus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 215 (1766); Blyth, Cat. p. 297 : Sclater, P. Z. S. 1868, p. 264, figs. 1, 2; Hume, S. F. i, pp. 128, 288, pt.; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 32; Hume, Cat. no. 1001; id. S. F. x, p. 488 ; Barnes, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 303 *. Pelecanus mitratus, Licht. Abh. Ak. Berl. 1838, p. 436, pl. iii, fig. 2 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 856, pt.; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 179. Pelecanus longirostris, Hume, S. F. v, p. 491; id. Cat. no. 1001 bis.

This only differs from P. roseus in its larger size and longer bill, in having the frontal region much swollen, and in possessing 24 rectrices instead of 22. There is also apparently less difference in size and in the length of bill between the sexes.

Length of male about 72 ; tail 8 ; wing 28; tarsus 5.5; bill from gape 18. Females are smaller.

Distribution. Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and South­western Asia. Some of the White Pelicans found in Northern India in the cold season belong apparently to this species, but the greater number are intermediate in size and other characters between P. onocrotalus and P. roseus.

* Some of these references probably belong to P. roseus, but as the two forms pass into each other in India, it is impossible to disentangle the synonymy.





1520. Pelecanus roseus.

 

The Eastern White Pelican.

Pelecanus roseus, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i, p. 570 (1788) ; Walden, Tr. Z. S. ix, p. 245 ; Oates,B. B. ii, p. 239. Pelecanus javanicus, Horsf. Tr. Linn. Soc. xiii, p. 197 (1821) ; Blyth, Cat. p. 297 ; id. J. A. S. B. xviii, p. 821 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 857 ; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 179 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 494 ; Cripps, S. F. vii, p. 314; Hume, Cat. no. 1003; Reid, S. F. x, p. 87; Hume, ibid. p. 496; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 437; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 351. Pelecanus mitratus, apud Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 856, pt.; Sclater, P. Z. S. 1868, p. 266, fig. 3 ; nec Licht. Pelecanus minor, apud Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 180; Elliot, P. Z. S. 1869, p. 580; Oates, S. F. x, p. 247; nec Rupp. Pelecanus onocrotalus, apud Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 854; Hume, S. F. i, pp. 128, 288, pt.; Adam, ibid. p. 403 ; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 233 ; Hume, S. F. x, p. 502; Doig, ibid. p. 510.

The European Pelican, Crested Pelican, and Lesser White Pelican, Jerdon.

Coloration. Adults are white, deeply suffused with rosy pink when in full breeding-plumage ; all primaries and primary-coverts black; secondaries black, with white outer borders that become broader on the inner feathers, some of which and some scapulars generally have a narrow outer blackish edge ; a patch of elongate feathers on top of breast yellow or ochreous.

Young birds have the scapulars, the wing-feathers, quills and coverts above and below, and the tail-feathers brown ; primaries black; head, neck, and lower parts more or less mixed or tinged with dull ferruginous red.

There is no true crest in the male ; the feathers, in a line or mane along the back of the neck, are slightly lengthened, and it is only in old females that a crest about 4 inches long occurs. Tail-feathers 22.

In adults the upper mandible is blue, slightly mottled with white on the median rib, red at the sides, nail coral-red ; basal half of lower mandible blue, red at the margins, terminal half yellow ; pouch gamboge-yellow ; face yellow ; iris lake-red ; tarsus and toes pink, webs yellow. In young birds the bill is blue faintly margined with black, nail pale chestnut, pouch ochre-yellow, face violet, iris orange, legs yellowish white, the front of the tarsus and toes blackish (Oates).

Length of male about 62 ; tail 8 ; wing 27 ; tarsus 5-; bill from gape 14 to 16. Females are smaller : length 54 ; tail 7; wing 24 ; tarsus 4.5 ; bill 10 to 12.

Distribution. Eastern Asia and the Malay Archipelago. A winter visitor to Burma and to many parts of India, where, how­ever, it passes gradually into the next species.





265. Pelecanus onocrotalus.

 

The White or Roseate Pelican.

Onocrotalus, the Pelican, in Pliny; from an ass, and=a rattle.

Male 66" to 73"; 25 lbs. Legs fleshy. Bill 16", with crimson central line, nail light red. Differs from P. roseus in having twenty-four tail-feathers. Primaries and winglet black. Secondaries have outer webs white and inner webs grey. Small crest. Pouch yellow, mixed red and purple. The female has a full crest of narrow pointed feathers directed backward, from 4" to 5" long. S. Europe, N. Africa, and S. W. Asia. Those found in N. India during cold season belong apparently to this species, but the greater number are intermediate in size and other characters between P. onocrotalus and P. roseus. (J. 1001. B, 1521.)

Feathers of forehead terminate in a transverse concave line. Under parts white.





264. Pelecanus roseus.

 

The Eastern White Pelican.

Penr. India; Gara-polo, Bengal; Sekhawet. Burma.

Male 62". Female 54". Legs flesh-pink. Bill 13" to 16", blue, mottled white, nail red. Plumage white (tinged pink in breeding season). Primaries and primary-coverts black. Secondaries black, with white outer borders. Tertiaries whitish, with broad black margins. Pouch gamboge. No true crest in males, but in old females the crest is about 4" long. Tail-feathers twenty-two. Breast-feathers of some birds golden. E. Asia and Malay Archipelago. Winter visitor to India and Burma. (J. 1003. B. 1520.)





268. Pelecanus rufescens.

 

The Red-backed Pelican.

Male 58". Legs yellowish. Bill yellowish, nail orange. Pouch flesh-colour, with transverse parallel yellow lines. Resembles P. philippensis, but the sides of upper mandible are without spots. Feathers of head and neck narrow and straight. Lower back and rump vinaceous. Tail of twenty feathers. Africa, south of 16° N. lat., Aden.

Also with general colour of under parts brown:—

P. fuscus. male 52". female 49". With back of neck velvety brown in breeding season and white in winter. Pouch olive-brown. Legs black. Bill grey, irregularly spotted carmine. Tail of twenty-two feathers. Orbital skin blue. From Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

P. californicus. Resembles P. fuscus. Orbital skin brown. From Pacific coast of N.. America.

P. thagus. 60". Similar to P. fuscus. With straw-coloured occipital crest about 2 1/2" long. Under parts finely streaked with white. Base of bill and sides of forehead covered with warty carunculations. Bill yellow, sides and tip of both mandibles red. Pouch black, with blue stripes. Legs slate. Tail of twenty-two feathers. Pacific coast of S. America.

(ii.) Also with base of lower mandible feathered:—

P. erythrorhynchus. 60". Culmen ornamented with horny excrescences in breeding season. General plumage pure white. Naked skin round eye orange. Bill orange. Pouch pale yellow. Legs orange. Tail of twenty-four feathers. Temperate N. America, and south in winter to C. America.

Also with ring of feathers surrounding naked orbital space:—

P. conspicillatus. 60". General colour pure white. Quills and their coverts, scapulars, and rump black. Tail of twenty-two feathers black. Bill yellow. Pouch yellow. Legs yellowish. Australia and Tasmania, ranging north to New Guinea.





(2176) Pelecanus onocrocotalus onocrocotalus.

 

The Western White or Rosy Pelican.

Pelecanus onocrocotalus Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed., i, p. 132 (1758) (Africa) ; Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 334.

Vernacular names. Hawasil, Gagunber, Gang Goya, Pear, Jalasind (Hind.).

Description. Primaries black with white shafts ; secondaries black but with much white on the outer webs, often extending to the inner also; there is also a sharply-denned but narrow black edging to the secondaries and sometimes to the scapulars; remaining plumage white, the whole head, neck and long crest suffused with rosy-pink, which extends to the back and scapulars and breast; at the base of the fore-neck the long lanceolate feathers are yellow-ochre or tan-yellow.

Colours of soft parts. Iris red to crimson; bill plumbeous-blue, mottled with white along the centre and with the nail and edges of both mandibles red; the lower mandible is blue on the basal, yellow on the terminal half; pouch, face and orbital skin yellow, brighter in the breeding-season; legs and feet fleshy-pink, the webs yellow.

Measurements. Wing, 700 to 730 mm., 640 to 680 mm.; tail 190 to 210 mm.; tarsus about 130 to 140 mm.; culmen, 430 to 450 mm., 390 to 400 mm.

Young birds have the head, neck, centre of back and underpays white, the head and neck much suffused with dull ferruginous ; remaining plumage dull pale brown, the feathers edged paler, the quills and tail darker but with a silvery ashy tinge over the greater part of both webs.

Distribution. The Rosy Pelican breeds from Hungary, where it was formerly very common, to the lakes of Central Asia, whilst it winters in North Africa as far as the Zambesi and Mosambique, in Asia as far South as Mesopotamia, Persian Gulf and Northern India, where it occurs commonly in the extreme North-West only.

Where the breeding-ranges of the two races, the Western and Eastern, meet is still uncertain and Ticehurst was unable on the material available to say what species bred in Iraq. There is, however, evidence that many of the vast swarms occurring in Mesopotamia are winter visitors, migrating North for the breeding-season. These would appear to be true onocrocotalus. On the other hand, some Pelicans breed in Iraq (Mesopotamia) and there are breeding colonies near Fao on the Persian Gulf. Two chicks in the British Museum appear to be of the Eastern race, whilst eggs from the Cox-Cheese man collection are decidedly small. It would seem, therefore, that the Fao colony is one of P. o. roseus and probably the Iraq breeding birds also.

Nidification. The Western Rosy Pelican breeds in large colonies in swamps and inland lakes daring April and May, some pairs continuing to lay during June and early July. The nests are huge masses of: sticks, rushes, grass and water-plants placed in among reeds in shallow water or in the mud and slush immediately surrounding the lakes. Two or three eggs are laid and very rarely four. These are white when first laid, with a thick chalky-covered texture like Cormorants' eggs and they soon become' yellowish and stained. Dombrowski - quoted by Hartert - gives the average of one hundred eggs as 95.2 x 60.2 mm.: maxima 102.0 x 63.5 and 97.3 x 64.5 mm.; minima 80.0 x 54.1 and 82.3 x 53.3 mm.

Habits. This Pelican in its usual haunts collects in very large flocks but in India it occurs in much smaller numbers, its place being taken by the Eastern race. These great birds live entirely on fish, which they hunt into the shallows and then scoop up in their pouches. They fly well and at times may be seen soaring-round almost with the lightness and elegance of Vultures, though their ordinary flight is a slow, dignified flapping, which, however,, takes them through the air at a great pace. They utter a deep guttural squawk from time to time when swimming but are silent birds.





(2177) Pelecanus onocrocotalus roseus.

 

The Eastern White or Rosy Pelican.

Pelecanus roseus Gmelin, Syst. Nat., i, p. 570 (1789) (Manila) ; Blanford & Oate, iv, p. 333.

Vernacular names. Hind, same as the preceding bird ; Bellua, Borica or Bherua (Behar); Gara-polti or Gora-pallo (Beng.); Pian (Sind) ; Sckawhet (Burma).

Description. Differs from the preceding bird in having 22 tail-feathers instead of 24; it is slightly smaller; the difference between the sexes in size is even more marked and the frontal region is not so swollen.

Colours of soft parts as in the typical form.

Measurements. Wing, 680 to 720 mm., 600 to 653 mm.; tail 160 to 180 mm.; tarsus, 144 to 149 mm., 121 to 133 mm.; culmen, 390 to 425 mm., 313 to 365 mm.

Young birds are indistinguishable from those of the Western form.

Distribution. From Central Asia to the extreme East of Siberia and North China. Wintering in South China and the Philippines and the Indo-Chinese countries to Burma and India. The breeding colonies at Fao, and possibly in Mesopotamia, are those of this race. It is noticeable that Ticehurst records this race only as occurring in Sind, so that it must be the common form there, though typical onocrocotalus undoubtedly occurs also from time to time.

Nidification. So far as is known the nest and eggs and breeding-habits of these two races are the same but judging by the few eggs I have been able to measure, those of this race are much smaller. Fourteen eggs average 88.3 x 57.5 mm.: maxima 94.1 x 60.0 mm.; minima 83.1 X 58.0 and 89.0 x 55.0 mm. All the eggs taken by Cummings and later by Cox and Cheeseman were laid in the first three weeks of April.

Habits. Similar to those of the preceding bird. It occurs nowhere in the immense numbers that the Western bird does in some places, though Ticehurst records very large flocks in Sind. In this Province the local fishermen prize the oil obtained from the fat very highly and also eat the flesh. In Assam small flocks were not rare but often the birds were in pairs only, haunting the Brahmapootra and big rivers as well as swamps. In the rivers I have seen them hunting fish like Mergansers, forming a semicircle and driving the fish into shallows and backwaters, where they are easily caught. As a rule only the head and shoulders are thrust under water but occasionally the whole bird disappears. Although so ungainly on land and far from beautiful in the water, they present a fine sight when well on the wing.





Pelecanus onocrotalus Linn.

 

Pelecanus onocrotalus onocrotalus Linn.

 

Pelecanus onocrotalus Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed,, vol. i, p. 132, Jan. 1758: Africa.

Pelecanus onocrot(alus) var. orientalis Linn., Syst. Nat., 12th ed., vol. i, p. 215, 1766: Africa.

Onocrotalus brissonii Children in Denhum & Clapperton's Narr. Trav. & Disc, App., p. 205, 1826: Africa.

Onocrotalus phoenix Lesson, Man. d'Orn., vol. ii, p. 371, 1828; new name only.

Pelecanus major Brehm, Handb. Vog. Deutschl., p. 1019, 1831: Europe.

Pelecanus minor Ruppell, Mus. Senckenb., vol. ii, p. 186, 1837: Egypt; not Pelecanus minor Gmelin, 1789.

Pelecanus sharpei Bocage, P. Z. S., 1870, p. 173: Angola.

Pelecanus longirostris Hume, Str. Feath., vol. v, p. 491, 1877: Dacca, India.





Pelecanus onocrotalus roseus Gmelin.

 

Pelecanus roseus Gmelin, Syst. Nat., vol. i, pt. ii, p. 570, 1789: Manilla, Philippines.





THE SPOTTED-BILLED PELICAN
Pelecanus roseus Gmelin


Description:-
Length 5 feet. Sexes alike. Full adult breeding plumage : White almost throughout, crown and neck feathers short and curly with their bases dark brown ; lower back, rump, flanks, and a patch below the tail vinaceous-pink ; a slight crest and a mane of larger feathers down the back of the neck brownish; the flight-feathers blackish-brown, growing white inwardly, the larger wing and upper tail-coverts with black shafts ; tail light ashy-brown.

In Other plumages the vinaceous-pink tinge is lacking and the plumage is much sullied with brown.

Iris white or yellowish, bare skin round the eye yellow and livid ; bill pinkish-yellow, the sides of the upper mandible with large bluish-black Spots, tip of the mandibles orange-yellow; pouch dull purple, blotched and spotted with bluish-black ; legs dark brown.

The upper mandible is long, flat and boat-shaped, terminating in a hooked nail; the lower mandible consists of two flexible arches which support a huge elastic pouch ; body large and squat with short legs and webbed feet.

Field Identification:-
The huge squat Pelican with its enormous beak and elastic pouch is familiar to every one through picture, story and Zoo, though the identification of the various species in the field is a matter of difficulty. In flight the birds appear white with the points of the wings black.

Distribution:-
Throughout the better watered tracts of India, Ceylon, and Burma and the whole Oriental region.  A migratory bird.

Two Other species of very similar appearance, the Rosy Pelican (Pelecanus onocrocotalus) and the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), are found in North-western and Northern India respectively.

Habits, etc:-
This Pelican is purely a water-bird, being found wherever there are large expanses of water suitable for it to fish in. It is found singly or in small parties, but also often in large flocks. It is seldom seen on land, as it is a bad and clumsy walker, but in the water it swims well and buoyantly. The food consists of fish which are caught not by diving, of which the bird is incapable, but by scoops of the great lower mandible with its pendant and elastic pouch of naked membrane which acts as an ideal landing-net. When in flocks Pelicans capture their prey by forming a line or lines across the water and driving the fish before them into shallow water by beating the water with their wings.

On the wing the Pelican flies well, with the neck bent and the head close to the shoulders, the great wings beating in rhythmic unison. The flocks fly in regular lines or wedges like Geese and often ascend to a great height in the air.

In India the Pelican is only known to breed in the Madras Presidency, where a few small colonies may be found in the first half of the year. Other colonies breed in Ceylon, but the majority of this Species nest in Burma where they collect for the purpose in November. Oates has described a vast breeding colony in the forests of the Sittang in Burma, which he calculated to be twenty miles long and five miles broad. Here this Pelican was nesting in company with Adjutants, and the total number of birds was estimated in millions. The huge nests were composed entirely of sticks without lining, and three to fifteen nests would be placed in a single tree at the height of 100 feet from the ground. The most striking point about this Pelicanry was the complete silence that prevailed, save for the whistle of the wings of birds flying far overhead which sounded like the music of an aeolian harp.

The clutch consists of three eggs. The egg is long and narrow, equally pointed at both ends. The true shell is smooth and white but it is covered with an outer coating of chalky texture. This, when the egg is fresh, is pure white, but it gradually becomes stained, and is dark brown or black by the time that the chick hatches.

The egg measures from 2.65 to 3.3 inches in length by about 2.10 inches in breadth.

Fig. 94-Spotted-billed Pelican   (1/8 nat. size)




Museum Collections


Number of Museum Specimen Records Found : 2 for Pelecanus onocrotalus

No. Museum Species Collection Deatils Collector Date of Collection Record Locality GBIF Portal Link
1Royal Ontario MuseumPelecanus onocrotalus roseusROM Birds 34366Hume, A O1872-01-18 00:00:00.0SpecimenMadho-Mehur, Upper Sind Sind Pakistan Southern Asia Link
2University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyPelecanus onocrotalusUMMZ Bird 76002Koelz, Walter N1934-03-01 00:00:00.0SpecimenKhinjar Lake Sind Pakistan Southern Asia Link

Biodiversity occurrence data provided by: (Accessed through GBIF Data Portal, 2009-08-06)


Data Providers
  • Royal Ontario Museum ( 1 Records )

  • University of Michigan Museum of Zoology ( 1 Records )


Sound/Call


No Calls AvialableThe Bird Calls are embedded through xeno-canto.org See Terms of Use xeno-canto.org


Links



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Cite this website along with its URL as:
Anonymous. 2014 Pelecanus onocrotalus - Linnaeus, 1758 (Great White Pelican ) in Deomurari, A.N. (Compiler), 2010. AVIS-IBIS (Avian Information System - Indian BioDiversity Information System) v. 1.0. Foundation For Ecological Security, India retrieved on 11/28/2014
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