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Australian Pelican

Australian Pelican
Photo Information
Copyright: Andrew Orme (orme) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 45 W: 0 N: 56] (188)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-05-05
Categories: Birds
Camera: Olympus C-7000 / C-70 Zoom
Exposure: f/4, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-05-27 7:45
Viewed: 5433
Points: 2
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this photo of the Australian Pelican in Hong Kong Park.


The Australian pelican is Australia's largest flying bird. It has a long bill and a saggy throat pouch. It has black and white feathers and a bright yellow ring around each eye.


They use their pouch for collecting fish or tadpoles and work together to get food.

The lower mandible is composed of two slim, highly flexible bones to which the elastic pouch is attached. When plunged into water the bones expand like the rings of a landing net while the pouch is distended by action of the tongue muscles.

Fish are scooped in, the bill is closed and the pelican withdraws its head the water drains out and the flexible bones resume their normal position under the stiff upper mandible.

Fish inside the pouch are swallowed immediately by a backward toss of the head.


They live near fresh or salt water, on the coast and by inland water e.g. estuaries, lagoons and freshwater lakes.


Breeds Australia; occurs as an irruption species in New Guineas and as far west as Sumatra.


They build a shallow nest, using twigs and plants to construct a platform.


They live in large groups and are very good flyers.


Pelicans are colonial breeders with up to 40,000 individuals grouping on islands or secluded shores. Breeding may occur at any time of year depending on environmental conditions, particularly rainfall.

The chicks are naked and pink when they hatch, and can walk when they are 3 weeks old.

Tech: Cropped top, right and bottom to frame around bird. Resized and sharpened. Added black border.

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A great capture, Andrew! The lighting and focus are excellent.

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