Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Australian Pelican

Pelecanus conspicillatus


The Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) is found all around Australia and is the biggest of the 8 species of Pelicans found worldwide. Pelicans as a whole are big birds with a very large wingspan, large beaks and are very well known One of the reason such a big bird can fly is that its skeleton is very light (10% of their weight). Australian Pelicans are white in colour with black wingtips and black markings on their tail. Behind their head and part way down their neck there is a "streak" of grey Their bill and very large bill pouch are pink and is the longest beak/bill of any, of all the types of Pelicans in the world , whilst their legs and feet are blue-grey in colour. They are so buoyant they cannot sink under water, though unlike most water birds they do not have a lot of water proof oil on their feathers etc so they can get wet and cold


On a world scale The Australian Pelican is found throughout Australia, except in the very dry middle (desert region), Papua New Guinea and parts of Indonesia (eg Sulawesi) and sometimes in New Zealand and some Pacific Islands close to Australia Pelican on land In Australia itself, wherever there is water you can possibly find Pelicans, ranging from wetlands to swamps, rivers, estuaries, lakes (fresh and salt), coastlines, mudflats, lagoons etc. They live in large flocks or colonies and will travel large distances to find suitable water, breeding grounds etc


Wingspan 2.5 meters to 3.4 meters. Length 1.6 to 1.9 meters. Weight 4 to 6.8 kg up to 8.2 kg. Australian Pelicans eyes are brown and white. The female is slightly smaller than the male. Feet of a Pelican Pouched bill 40 to 47 cm and can hold 9 to 13 l of water. They have 4 webbed toes. There vocalization is a chesty rumbling or deep growling. In the wild they can live between 10 and 25 years.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


Christiane 9 years ago

Thanks Mary.. :) 9 years ago

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing.

Spotted by

Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Feb 2, 2015
Submitted on Feb 2, 2015

Related Spottings

Pelecanus Pelicans Brown Pelican Brown Pelican

Nearby Spottings

Spotting Spotting Black Swan Spotting
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team