American White Pelican

American white pelican, credit: bookguy/ Essentials Collection/ Getty Images

Threatened Provincially, Not Listed Nationally

Description

• Very large bird weighing about six kilograms with wingspan up to three metres; white feathers and black wing tips; large orange-yellow bill and pouch; a stout tail; webbed feet
• Juvenile birds have greyish feathers
• Nests in colonies on isolated islands in freshwater lakes
• Forages in shallow waters up to 50 kilometres away from nest

Range

• Migrates south to the Gulf Coast states and Mexico
• In Canada, found from interior British Columbia, east to northwestern Ontario

Threats

• Water level changes
• Habitat degradation
• Human disturbance
• Disease

Protection

• Provincially protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007

Fact

Ontario has about 10 percent of the world’s population of American white pelicans.

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