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Pelecanus occidentalis   Linnaeus, 1766

brown pelican

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Pelecanus occidentalis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Classification
Aves | Ciconiiformes | Pelecanidae
Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Main reference
Stiles, F.G. 1984. (Ref. 5856)
References | Biblio | Coordinator | Collaborators

Size / Weight / Age
Max length : 114 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 8812); max. published weight: 3.2 kg (Ref. 356)

Environment
Others

Climate / Range
Tropical

Distribution
Northeast Pacific and Western Central Atlantic.
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Short description
Culmen: 28.9 cm; tarsus: 8.0 cm; wing: 5.13.5 cm.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Wingspan: 203 cm (Ref. 8812). Occupies coastal areas (Ref. 356). Only pelican species to plunge dive for fish. Forms feeding flocks (Florida). Feeds on anchovies in southern California. New colony may form from roost (birds loafing in areas other than their nesting colony). Facultative kleptoparasitism, or food theft, by shallow-diving Band-tailed Gulls (Larus belcheri), and Laughing Gulls (Larus atricilla) that preferentially steal fish from adults; in turn, pelicans attack deeper-diving Peruvian Boobies (Sula variegata). Neck molts to brown prior to its move into its nesting colony where courtship and pair formation occurs. Exhibits communal pre-pairing; head-turning behavior during mate selection and courtship where male and female display ritually by turning their head and bill (its weapon) away from each other; pair forms at location where male advertises. May mate within hours of pairing, possibly with same mate from a previous season; first egg laid after 3-10 days. Surface-nesting species; tree-nesting. Atricial; typically lays 3 eggs that hatch asynchronously; where first hatchling is larger than siblings and will generally have monopoly over feeding; chicks thermoregulate by huddling; all 3 hatched young are raised by parent only on years when food is abundant. Chicks feed on regurgitated fish from its parents' gullets. Mortality rate of immature birds is 70% in the first 15 months. In Florida, after the breeding season, migrates both north and south from their breeding site, while those nesting farther north move to the south. Severe ENSO (El Niño) events affecting the Humboldt current caused regular collapse of huge populations (20 times in the last 100 years) due to great drop in food availability; 1982-1982 ENSO event in Peru and Ecuador caused a huge drop in population numbers (presumed to have died). Significant egg-shell thinning due to DDT pesticide exposure in the 1960s documented in southern California with notable population declines; and breeding populations disappeared widely from the southeastern US. Oil pollution cause reduction in hatchability, growth retardation, developmental defects and increased sublethal effects in chicks. Intense fishing pressures in feeding areas cause population declines due to breeding failure (Ref. 87784).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 114614)

CITES status (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans




Human uses

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More information

Common names
Synonyms
Predators
Reproduction
Maturity
Spawning
Eggs
Egg development
Age/Size
Growth
Length-weight
Length-length
Morphology
Larvae
Abundance
References
Mass conversion

Internet sources
BHL | BOLD Systems | Check for other websites | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | FishBase | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimation of some characteristics with mathematical models

Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
High to very high vulnerability (68 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Unknown