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American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

General Description: American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) are very large birds (wingspan to over 9 feet) with an enormous bill and stretchy skin at the base of the bill that can expand to form a pouch when feeding. White Pelicans are white overall with black wingtips and black on the trailing edge of the wings. In adults, bill is yellow. In juveniles, the bill is dark. During the breeding season, adults grow a keel on the top of the bill. Compare with Brown Pelicans.

Taxonomy: Pelecaniformes, Pelecanidae

Favored Habitat: Lakes and rivers, also coastal areas.

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

Where to Find: Around Las Vegas, look for American White Pelicans at Lake Mead during fall and winter. Sometimes they show up at Sunset Park and in the Duck Creek area.

Comments: White Pelicans feed by dipping their long bill into the water to scoop up fish. In contrast, Brown Pelicans generally feed by diving head first into the water, although they sometimes dip their bills too.

A banded pelican has been resident at Sunset Park througout 2013. Bird "UT-12 69G" was banded in Utah in 2012. I first photographed it at Sunset Park January 8, 2013, and the bird remained in the park all summer and still was present on December 5, 2013.

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
White Pelicans in lake with geese and ducks
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
White Pelicans in lake with Canada Geese, Snow Geese, and ducks
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican with "breeding" keel
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican "breeding" keel
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Ding Darling NWR, Florida
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Sunset Park, Urban Las Vegas
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Sunset Park, Urban Las Vegas
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Sunset Park, Urban Las Vegas
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Sunset Park, Urban Las Vegas
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Sunset Park, Urban Las Vegas
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Sunset Park, Urban Las Vegas
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Sunset Park, Urban Las Vegas
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
UT-12-69G was banded in Utah in 2012 (Sunset Park, 1/8/2013)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
UT-12-69G seen at Sunset Park, Jan., July, and Sept. 2013
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Bird UT-12-69G (Sunset Park, 1/8/2013); still present 12/2013.
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Bird UT-12-69G with fish hook in neck
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 131206

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