The Great White Pelican

Planning a Uganda Birding Safari, don't miss the Great White Pelican.

The information about Pelican Birds in this section of the Uganda Birding Safari guide will help get the most out of your Bird watching tour to Africa.

You will find

Interesting Facts about this Uganda Bird

The pelicans (Pelecanus spp) are distinctive large water birds often seen swimming in tight flotillas on open lakes of the Great Rift Valley.

They can be easily identified both at rest and in flight.

These water birds are separated from each other by their size, color and behavior.

Where to find Pelicans in Uganda

In Uganda we have the Great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) and the Pink-backed pelican (Pelecanus rufescens).

You will likely come across them along the Kazinga Channel and Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) so don’t miss a chance of watching these beautiful water birds while visiting the pearl of Africa.

Characteristics of the Great White Pelican

This adult water bird is a massive black and white pelican with a pink and yellow bill pouch and measures around 178cm.

The female pelicans have orange and yellow facial skins while the males have purplish ones.

Both sexes have a yellow bill with a pink tip and an orange knob where the bill joins forehead.

They only produce a characteristic continuous low cacophony growling sound while breeding.

The breeding adult has a pinkish hue and a short ragged crest while the duller non breeding adult has a greyish bill.

The immature pelicans (A bird that has moulted its juvenile plumage but has not yet attained its full adult plumage) are greyish brown with dull bare parts.

The juvenile birds are much darker and browner. (A juvenile pelican one with the first full- feathered plumage)

The adult birds show extensive black flight feathers contrasting with the white greater and median coverts.

The Lifestyle of the White Pelican

In their habitats, you can find either single or large flocks widespread on the open lakes of the Rift Valley.

They normally fish together in large flocks swimming forward in a horse shoe pattern with their bills open ready to catch it’s prey.

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