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An American White Pelican sleeping at the Racine Zoo in Racine, WI
pelican sleeping

An American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) taking a snooze at the Racine Zoo in Racine, WI. One of the many animals being saved by the Racine Zoo.

Breeding on lakes throughout the northern Great Plains and mountain West, the American White Pelican is one of the largest birds in North America. It winters along the coasts, but breeds only inland. Generally silent away from nesting colony. Nestling give whining grunts for food; adults have low, hoarse display calls.

The American White Pelican is a large white waterbird with a long bill that has an extensible pouch. Its body is large and heavy and its feet are webbed. The birds wings are long and broad with a black trailing edge. It has a short tail and both sexes look alike. The general size is 50-65in (127-165cm) with a wingspan of 96-114in (244-290cm) and weight of 158.85-317.7oz (4500-9000g)


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This page updated or reviewed in March 2011