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Great White Pelican at ChattBir, copyright Picturejockey : Navin Harish 2005-2013

2nd January 2013

Great White Pelican at ChattBir

We see some migratory birds in north India during the windters which includes these Pelicans. I saw these last year as well at the Delhi zoo and this time I spotted these at the ChattBir zoo near Chandigarh. While these were present in a very large number in the Delhi zoo, there were only a few at the ChattBir. I guess they prefer the National capital more:)

It is a huge bird, with a wingspan that ranges from about 7ft to 12ft. The total length of the Great White Pelican can range from 55in to 71 in, with the enormous bill comprising 11.4 to 18.5 in. Adult males, weigh from 9 to 15 kg and the females are considerably less bulky and heavy, weighing from 5.4 to 9 kg.

Immature Great White Pelicans are grey and have dark flight feathers. Males are larger than females, and have a long beak that grows in a downwards arc, as opposed to the shorter, straighter beak of the female.

The Great White Pelican is well adapted for aquatic life. The short strong legs and webbed feet propel it in water and aid the rather awkward takeoff from the water surface. Once aloft, the long-winged pelicans are powerful fliers, however, and often travel in spectacular V-formation groups.