Monday, April 27, 2009

Great White Pelican

These beauties are the Great white Pelicans ( Pelecanus onocrotalus) and were photographed at St. James park in London. They are also found in India as partly resident and partly winter visitors. If you closely look at the first photograph two of the birds have pinkish hue and one is white with black wing tips, the pinkish hue is acquired during breeding season.
These are massive birds as big as 6 feet and wing span of 10 feet, when you first look at a Pelican you can even doubt if this bird can fly. In spite of its massive size the bird is a graceful flier and like most other birds "Born to Fly".
The bones of the birds are so completely adapted to the need to conserve weight in flight that a bird's feathers usually weigh more than its entire skeleton. The bones are hollow, braced by internal struts and honey combed with air sacs. The sacs are connected to the lungs so that during flight air flows through them, speeding the supply of oxygen to the body tissues. Even the beak is made to save weight, instead of being made of bone, it is made of lightweight horn and contains no teeth. The bird weighs about 10-15 kg, even thought its size is that of a human its weight is just 1/5th, perfect for flight.


  1. Beautiful indeed. Even though it's probably dangerous, I just want to give them a nice big hug and pet them on the heads.

  2. Awesome and really interesting information! Thanks for sharing.