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The Pink Backed Pelican | by Arpita Basu
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The Pink Backed Pelican

This is a pink backed pelican, a smaller pelican but still has a wingspan of nearly 2.4m. The plumage is grey and white, with a pink back. The top of the bill is yellow and the pouch is usually greyish. Breeding adults have long feather plumes on the head. Their average lifespan is 15 years and there are about 8 different species of pelicans found today .


Pelicans are found on many of the world's coastlines and also along lakes and rivers. They are social birds and typically travel in flocks, often strung out in a line. They occur mostly in warm regions and are found on all continents except Antarctica.


These Birds are widely distributed in Africa, southern Arabia and the Island of Madagascar. In spring and early summer the Pelicans pair up and build a large nest of sticks, lays two or three eggs which incubates for around thirty days. Pelican chicks are ravenous feeders, they plunge their heads deep into the adult’s pouch and take the partially digested fish.


These birds are best known for their famous elastic throat pouch which they use to catch fish - but they are also known to prey on small birds.


Pelicans may have been worshiped in ancient Peru and are depicted in a lot of Peruvian art. There are various legends in various cultures that would have the pelican either nourishing or resurrecting her young with her own blood.


Pelicans have been around for over 40 million years. The earliest form of pelican having been found fossilized in France.


(I had incorrectly identified this species as The Great White Pelican earlier. I apologise.)

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Taken on August 30, 2009