15 October 2016 - AUSTRALIAN PELICANS




AUSTRALIAN PELICANS

G'day folks,

Today, I introduce another of our bird species in Australia. The Australian pelican is a large waterbird of the family Pelecanidae, widespread on the inland and coastal waters of Australia and New Guinea, also in Fiji, parts of Indonesia and as a vagrant in New Zealand.

 The two Australian Pelicans in the wetlands area of Wild Sea were found in the wild with injuries and brought to Melbourne Zoo for treatment. They have remained at the Zoo ever since. Although pelicans are found over large parts of Australia, for many city-dwellers, the Wild Sea at the Zoo is a rare opportunity to see these delightful birds. 




Australian Pelicans are not a species presently at risk. However, many individual birds are at risk from fishing waste: hooks, fishing line and nets abandoned in areas where these and other marine wildlife live. Your local council or community can play a big part in protecting marine wildlife by installing Seal the Loop bins to collect fishing waste and help reduce rates of marine wildlife entanglement.



Australian Pelicans are found throughout Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Indonesia. They will travel great distances to find food and may form large flocks of hundreds of birds. These flocks will sometimes work together to capture food, driving fish into shallow water where they can more easily be caught.



Pelicans have very wide wingspans: up to 2.6 metres. Their most characteristic feature of course is their long bill (40–50cm) and throat pouch.






Clancy's comment: I've seen many of these whopping birds whilst fishing on inland waterways, and also at sea. They are an interesting bird to observe. Looking up at them whilst in flight, they have often resembled small planes. And, watching them eat is gob smacking.

I'm ....