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The pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) is one of the smallest of the eight species, but is still a very large bird – it can have a wing span of almost 8 feet and weigh on average around 5.5 Kg. It has a pale greyish plumage, with pinkish back –hence its name. It is one of the world’s largest flying birds. Not surprisingly, it takes off with difficulties, but once in flight, it flies well with few wing beats, alternating with glides. It flies with its head pulled back over its chest, rather than stretching out its neck. It migrates great distances but spends most of its time in swamps and shallow lakes in Africa and Southern Arabia. They used to breed regularly in Madagascar but all populations from there are now extinct. The pink-backed Pelican has a broad area of feathering across forehead, ending in slightly concave line at bill base. There is also a short bushy crest on the nape. When swimming or standing, the Pink-baked Pelican appears as the drabbest and greyest of the pelicans. Pink-baked Pelican nests in trees, often near water, and also on sandy islands, in mangroves, and even close to humans. However, the trees die, due to the weight of the nests on their branches. Pink-baked Pelican roosts on cliffs, coral reefs, sand dunes, and sometimes on piers or walls, in areas where food is abundant.
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