The American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) is distinctive for its nine-foot wingspan, conspicuous white body, and the improbable proportions of its large bill and pouch. One of the largest birds in North America, it is similar to the Brown Pelican in shape but much larger, and very different in habits – it occurs far inland, feeds cooperatively in shallow lakes, does not dive from the air for fish. Despite its great size, it is a spectacular flier, with flocks often soaring very high in the air, ponderously wheeling and circling in unison.Webbed feet make these pelicans strong swimmers. It is entirely white except for its black-edged wings that are visible when the American white pelican is in flight. In breeding season, it has a light yellowish crest on the back of its head and a nuptial tubercle or fibrous plate on the upper part of its bill. The nuptial tubercle will fall off when mating season is over and the crest will turn grey.
American white pelicanAmerican white pelican