Pink-backed Pelican

Pelecanus rufescens

The Pink-backed Pelican is a member of the pelican family of birds. It is a resident breeder in Africa, southern Arabia and apparently extinct in Madagascar in swamps and shallow lakes.
Pink-backed Pelican, Epe Zoo  Epe,Europe,Geotagged,Netherlands,Pelecanus rufescens,Pink-backed Pelican,The Netherlands,Wissel

Appearance

This is a relatively small pelican though by no means a small bird. The size difference is apparent besides the sympatric Great White Pelican as well as its grayish as opposed to white plumage. Length is from 125 to 155 cm , wingspan is 2.15–2.9 m and body mass if from 4 to 7 kg . The bill is 30 to 38 cm in length. The plumage is grey and white, with a pinkish hue on the back occasionally apparent . The top of the bill is yellow and the pouch is usually greyish. Breeding adults have long feather plumes on the head.
Pink-backed Pelican standing guard, Epe Zoo  Epe,Europe,Geotagged,Netherlands,Pelecanus rufescens,Pink-backed Pelican,The Netherlands,Wissel

Habitat

Found in a range of aquatic habitats, but prefers quiet backwaters with shallow water, avoiding steep, vegetated lake banks. It prefers for freshwater lakes, swamps, large slow-flowing rivers, and seasonal pools but also frequents reservoirs, seasonally flooded land3 and flood-plains near river mouths. It may occur on alkaline and saline lakes and lagoons, and can sometimes be found along the coast in bays1 and estuaries2, 3, 5 . The species tends to roost and breed in trees , but will also roost on sandy islands, cliffs, coral reefs and sand-dunes.


Nesting trees have many nests built close together, these nests are re-used every year until often the trees collapse although the birds will normally remain in the area. The species nests colonially in trees, reeds or low bushes along waterfronts as well as on the ground on sandy islands and in mangroves.

The nest is a large heap of sticks, into which two to three large white eggs are laid. The chicks feed by plunging their heads deep into the adult’s pouch and taking the partially digested regurgitated fish, and may be 10-50 m above the ground.
Pink-backed Pelican, Epe Zoo - 2  Epe,Europe,Geotagged,Netherlands,Pelecanus rufescens,Pink-backed Pelican,The Netherlands,Wissel

Reproduction

Found in a range of aquatic habitats, but prefers quiet backwaters with shallow water, avoiding steep, vegetated lake banks. It prefers for freshwater lakes, swamps, large slow-flowing rivers, and seasonal pools but also frequents reservoirs, seasonally flooded land3 and flood-plains near river mouths. It may occur on alkaline and saline lakes and lagoons, and can sometimes be found along the coast in bays1 and estuaries2, 3, 5 . The species tends to roost and breed in trees , but will also roost on sandy islands, cliffs, coral reefs and sand-dunes.


Nesting trees have many nests built close together, these nests are re-used every year until often the trees collapse although the birds will normally remain in the area. The species nests colonially in trees, reeds or low bushes along waterfronts as well as on the ground on sandy islands and in mangroves.

The nest is a large heap of sticks, into which two to three large white eggs are laid. The chicks feed by plunging their heads deep into the adult’s pouch and taking the partially digested regurgitated fish, and may be 10-50 m above the ground.
Pink-backed Pelican grooming, Epe Zoo  Epe,Europe,Geotagged,Netherlands,Pelecanus rufescens,Pink-backed Pelican,The Netherlands,Wissel

Food

Food is usually fish and amphibians, and is usually obtained by fishing in groups.

The consists of most cichlids

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderPelecaniformes
FamilyPelecanidae
GenusPelecanus
SpeciesP. rufescens
Photographed in
Netherlands