American White Pelicans
American White Pelican exam - Photo by Ariana Gastelum
American White Pelican release - photo by Cheryl Reynolds
American White Pelican flock - Photo by Scott Jack
American White Pelican photo by Olivia Jenkins
Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern
Description: A very large, white bird with a yellow-orange bill, pouch, and legs. During the breeding season, they develop keratin growths on their bills.
Play American White Pelican call:
Where to find them: These pelicans can be found on bodies of freshwater in the southern parts of Canada, central, western, and southern parts of the United States, and Mexico and Central America.
- The American White Pelican is one of the largest birds in North America. They can be easily identified in flight with their big white bodies and black primary flight feathers.
- Unlike the Brown Pelican, American White Pelicans do not dive to catch their prey, instead, they hunt from the water’s surface, scooping up fish with their flexible bills.
- The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has been learning new things about American White Pelican migratory behavior through the use of satellite transmitters. Read about their findings HERE.
- An inspiring American White Pelican patient was named our 2017 Bird of the Year. Read more of his story on our blog.
Threats: Fishing gear, habitat loss,
How YOU can Help: Fish responsibly and clean up any fishing gear that is left out.
Audio clip from www.xeno-canto.com Recorded by Bruce Lagerquist XC486233
Additional photography courtesy of Scott Jack