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Description of Pelican

Pelicans are large water birds that live on seacoasts or inwarminland water habitats. There are seven generally recognized species. The coastal brown pelican lives from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, and from British Columbia to Chile, as well as the GalГЎpagos Islands. The American white pelican inhabits inland habitats in the western, central, and southeastern United States, Mexico, and Canada. The remaining species live in Australia, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Physical Characteristics of Pelicans

Pelicans rank among the largest of living birds, ranging in size from four to six feet in length, and weighing from four to sixteen pounds. The brown pelican is smallest, and the large eastern great white pelican has a wingspan of up to ten feet. They have short legs and broad, fully webbed feet, which act as powerful paddles in the water, and cause them to walk with an awkward waddle on land. The pelican is famous for its huge, featherless throat pouch that is attached to the lower mandible. The pouch stretches as it fills with water when the bird is fishing, and can hold nearly three gallons. The pouch also functions as an evaporative cooling mechanism. The pelican opens it mouth and flutters its pouch, which keeps air flowing over the moist surface. Plumage color varies among species and according to age. Pelicans can be predominantly white, black, brown, or gray, with markings on the head, wingtips, underfeathers, or tail. The legs and feet are orange, brown, or black, and the bill and pouch are reddish, orange, or black. During the breeding season, these body parts change color, and many pelicans develop a yellow patch on the chest, a distinctive crest, and a bright ring around the eyes. The American white pelican also grows a noticeable horny knob on its beak.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Pelican