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Peruvian Pelican

From Opus

Adult in breeding plumagePhoto © by Alastair Rae Arica, Chile, November 2005
Adult in breeding plumage
Photo © by Alastair Rae
Arica, Chile, November 2005

Alternative names: Chilean Pelican or Chilean Brown Pelican

Pelecanus thagus


[edit] Identification

Dark with a white stripe from the top of the bill, up to the crown and down the sides of the neck. They have long tufted feathers on the top of their heads.

Adult in flightPhoto © by Joseph MorlanPort of San Martin (Pisco), Peru, 15 December 2017
Adult in flight
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Port of San Martin (Pisco), Peru, 15 December 2017

[edit] Similar Species

Much larger than the similar Brown Pelican with differences in especially bare part colors.

[edit] Distribution

Peru and Chile.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[2].

Howard & Moore treat this species as a part of Brown Pelican, but the Opus follow Clements and Sibley & Monroe in splitting it.

[edit] Habitat

Beaches, cliffs and guano islands

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Actions

Peruvian pelicans feed by diving into the water from flight. During coastal bird watching tours between from Pucusana port to Asia Island in Peru. They can be observed regularly in common feeding frenzies with sea lions, dusky dolphins, Guanay Cormorants, Peruvian Boobies, Inca Terns and several gull species.

[edit] Breeding

2-3 eggs are laid and incubated for 4-5 weeks. Breeds in large colonies on rocky coasts, feeding in shallow offshore waters along the coast on small schooling fish.

[edit] Diet

This bird feeds on several species of fish. The main prey species is the Peruvian anchovies (Engraulis ringens). Other species consumed are Sardines (Sardinops sagax), Trachurus murphyi and Scomberesox saurus.

[edit] References

  1. Mundo Azul Species fact sheet Peruvian pelican
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  3. SACC (2007) Proposal (#271) to South American Classification Committee. Separate Pelecanus thagus from P. occidentalis. URL:
  4. del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 January 2018).
  5. Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:
  6. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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