GREAT WHITE PELICAN
Pelicanus onocrotalus RM
Vulture+: 183cm. Feathers on forehead ending
in appoint above bill. Legs pink. Large bodies of
water. Breeding: KUTCH winter: Pakistan, N. and
Local Names : Hawasil-Hindi;
Gorapullo-Bengali; Chinkabatu-Telugu; Deohans-Assamese;
Size : Vulture+. Field
Characters: White or rose tinged with a tuft of
yellowish feathers on breast, slight crest, feathers of
forehead ending in a point above bill. Wing primaries
and some secondaries black. Sexes alike but female
smaller. Juvenile pale buffish brown. Distribution:
Partly resident and partly winter visitor, Punjab to
Assam. Occasional in South India. Habits: Seen
usually in large congregations on jheels and lagoons.
Other habits similar to those of the commoner
Spot-billed pelican. Nesting: Season-- February to
April in the great Rann whence it was first reporting
nesting among old nests of flamingos in 1960. Nest-- a
bed of feathers on the ground. Eggs-- 2, ivory white;
juveniles sooty black. Breeds extralimitally in Eastern
Europe and the Middle East.
Pelecanus crispus M.
Vulture: 183cm. Forehead feathers ending in a
concave crescent. Legs grey. N.India, Pakistan,
Local names: As fore other
Size: Vulture+; same as
Great White Pelican. Field Characters: Difficult to
distinguish from Great white pelican at a distance.
Legs and feet dark grey instead of pink. Forehead
feathers ending in a concave crescentic line best
diagnostic character. In flight, dusky white underside
of wings distinctive. Distribution: Winter visitor to
India, except Dec can and south India. Habits: Flocks
on large rivers, jheels and coastal lagoons. Nesting:
Breeds in eastern Europe, central and north Asia.
Pelicanus Philepensis RM Vulture+.
152cm. Brown nuchal crest. Black spotson upper
mandible. Large lakes, reservoirs and rivers.
Subcontinent,; Sri Lanka; Nicobars (vagrant).
Local Names : Hawaso;
Lorer; -Hindi; Bellua, Birwa or Bheerwa-Bihar;
Ganggoya, Gaganber, or Gorapullo-Bengali; Chikabatu-Telugu;
Deohans Dhera, Bhela-Assam; Uphong-Manipur; Pas Boruwa,
Pasbara-Sinhala; Kulakeda –Tamil – Sri Lanka; Pen Sind;
Size; Vulture+. Field
Characters: A large squat water bird, chiefly grey and
grayish white, with a brown nuchal crest. Short stout
legs, large webbed feet and enormous heavy flattened
bill, underhung throughout its length by an elastic bag
of dull purplish skin. blue black spots along edge of
upper mandible, blakish wing quills and grayish brown
tail diagnostic. Sexes alike . Flocks at jheels,etc.
Distribution: Well-watered tracts throughout the Indian
Union, Nicobar (accidental); Bangladesh; Pakistan; Sri
Lanka; Mynmar. Resident but capricious; also locally
migratory. Habits: Flocks float buoyantly or rest on
mudbanks preening themselves. They fish by
cooperative effort, swimming in semi-circle, driving the
fish before them into the shallows with vigorous
splashing of their great wings, and scooping them
up in their pouch which acts like a landing net.
Considering their size the birds take
of the water with little effort, and when once
launched fly strongly with steady rhythmical wing beat,
head drawn in between the shoulders.
Frequently seen during midday soaring in circles at
great heights in company with storks. Nesting:
Season: November to April. Nest- a large platform
in tall trees and palms, often far from water; several
nests in the same, tree, and the colony often covering
large areas. Eggs—3, chalky white , becoming
considerably dirty as incubation proceeds.