Sunday, February 28, 2016

Great White Pelican

What a surprise we got at Ding Darling today! - My birding friends gave me the heads up about a Great White Pelican being seen on the refuge, it was during the afternoon that I was able to see it - and wow - what a bird! Take a look....
When I arrived I quickly spotted all the birders and knew instantly that I was at the right location - there, about 100 yards away was the Great White Pelican resting between American White Pelicans.

This is one of the largest flying birds that is found in the shallow swamps of Africa. It breeds in Southern Europe and in Asia.

Great White Pelicans are also known as the White Pelican or the Eastern White Pelican.

It is white in color just like the American White Pelican with black and grey primary feathers.

There is a bare pink/yellow facial patch around their eyes. Their spectacular bills have azure blue on the top and yellow underneath and I'm pretty sure that I saw azure blue color in the iris.

The bill has a colorful central stripe and ends in a small red hook.

The Great White Pelican's chest and throat has pinkish or yellowish/orange color depending on the breeding season. In breeding condition the male has pinkish skin on its face and the female has yellowish/orange skin.

These pelicans are graceful fliers who can fly continuously for a whole day and night covering distances of up to 300 miles without stopping.

Note those long wispy plumes on top of its head.

In this particular photo, the light accentuates the pink hues - quite magnificent.

I hope that you will get to see this bird too - it was a really special sight to see.

And that's all, folks.

If birds could talk - we might be able to find the story behind this particular bird - where is was prior to arriving at Ding Darling and whether or not it has escaped from some zoo?? It's anyone's guess at this point.  


  1. What an awesome opportunity for you...I love the way you were able to capture his wings out. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Amazing photos of this Great Pelican. Thanks for sharing photos and information. Great Post!