Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Gmelin, 1789, Hudson Bay and New York. Monotypic.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Rough-billed pelican, white pelican; French: Pйlican а bec rouge; German: Nashornpelikan; Spanish: Pelнcano Nortamericano.
47–70 in (120–178 cm); 8–17 lb (3.6–7.7 kg). White with yellowish gray crest and black wingtips. During breeding season, they develop a knob on the top of the orange bill.
Summers in western North America and southeast Texas, USA. Winters in California, Arizona, southeastern USA, and Mexico.
Rivers, lakes, estuaries, and seacoasts.
Territorial during breeding season. Pair bonds strengthened by head bowing in the direction of one another and strutting walk in which male closely follows female, both with crests raised and pouches resting on chests.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feed while swimming and do not dive into the water. Communal forager of various fish, typically those of little commercial value such as carp (Cyprinus). Also eat salamanders (Ambystoma) and their larvae.
Ground nests are constructed from plant material. Usually lays two eggs in the spring; incubates for four weeks. Nestlings aggregate in crиches by four weeks of age; fledge at nine weeks; independent at 12 weeks.
Not threatened. Population may be increasing after significant erosion throughout much of twentieth century. Several new breeding colonies recorded in the 1980s and 1990s.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
May interact with fishermen but to a lesser degree than brown pelicans. Appears with young in logo of a North American insurance company as embodiment of mutual aid.
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