The two Varieties of PELICANS Present in the US! (2022)


Did you latterly see a pelican in the US?

In that case, I’m guessing you might be right here since you need to know extra in regards to the unimaginable chicken you noticed!


Properly, determining which species you noticed ought to be fairly straightforward. There are solely TWO kinds of pelicans present in the US, and they’re fairly straightforward to inform aside.


Preserve studying to study every of those two spectacular birds. 🙂


#1. Brown Pelican

brown pelicans

Figuring out Traits:

  • Brown pores and skin on their large throat patch. However breeding adults that dwell on the Pacific Coast have a pink throat patch.
  • Darkish grey our bodies with a white neck and pale yellow head.
  • Measures 3.5 – 5 toes in size (1 to 1.5 m) with a wingspan of 6.5 – 7.5 toes (2 to 2.3 m). The burden of adults can vary from 4.4 to 11.0 lb (2 to five kg).


For those who noticed a pelican in the US whereas sitting on a seaside, it was most definitely a Brown Pelican. These massive birds dwell strictly in saltwater habitats close to the ocean’s shoreline. Apparently, they hardly ever enterprise into the open ocean, selecting to remain inside 20 miles of the shore.


Once I’m visiting the seaside, I like seeing how Brown Pelicans elegantly fly simply over the water’s floor. Whereas these water birds are frequent at present, imagine it or not, they virtually went extinct within the mid-Twentieth century because of DDT poisoning.

Brown Pelican Vary Map

brown pelican range map


It’s additionally numerous enjoyable watching Brown Pelicans looking for fish! First, they fly excessive into the sky after which plunge aggressively headfirst into the water. These dives are supposed to stun the encompassing fish, which then are scooped up with their monumental throat pouch and swallowed entire.

Try the beneath video to be taught extra about their insane dives!


Don’t hassle listening for them, as Brown Pelicans are largely silent creatures. Nevertheless, you might hear loud popping sounds when they’re defending their nests, that are made once they sharply snap their payments collectively!


And lastly, they birds dwell a very long time. The oldest Brown Pelican on document was 43 years of age!


#2. American White Pelican

white pelicans

Figuring out Traits:

  • GIANT white pelican with an extended neck and lengthy invoice.
  • Yellow patch on the base of the invoice that wraps round their eyes.
  • Breeding adults have an odd plate that sticks up from the tip of the invoice.


It’s exhausting to overlook an American White Pelican in the US because of its huge dimension!


They sometimes weigh between 11 and 20 kilos (5.0 – 9.1 kg), however it’s their wingspan that’s most spectacular. When absolutely unfold, the wings measure over 9 toes (2.7 m) from tip to tip, which is the second widest in North America, behind the California Condor.

American White Pelican Vary Map

white pelican range map

In the US, American White Pelicans are discovered on freshwater inland lakes throughout the breeding season. As winter approaches, they migrate south and are sometimes discovered close to coastlines.


These massive birds look particularly magnificent whereas in flight! Their large wingspans permit them to soar gracefully for lengthy distances excessive within the sky. For those who see them flying in a V-formation, it’s exhausting to not cease and stare as they virtually look prehistoric.


These pelicans don’t dive like Brown Pelicans to catch fish however as a substitute use their massive neck pouches to scoop them up. Actually, people generally work collectively to herd fish to shallow areas to make them simpler to catch. Try the technique beneath!


Apparently, chicks which can be nonetheless INSIDE the egg can squawk to convey discomfort if circumstances turn out to be too sizzling or too chilly! In any other case, adults are usually silent.


And simply as a dimension reference, for those who see them collectively, American White Pelicans are about TWICE the scale of Brown Pelicans!

pelican species


Have you ever seen both of those pelican species earlier than in the US?


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