Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Order: Pelecaniformes | Family: Pelecanidae  | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult Breeding | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Florida, USA

Age: Adult Non-Breeding | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Santa Cruz, California

Age: Juvenile | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Florida, USA

Age: Immature | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Florida, USA

Identification & Behavior: ~124.5 cm (49 in). Adult Brown Pelicans are silvery gray with pale-yellow to white head and necks. In the breeding plumage, the back and sides of the neck turn a rich, dark reddish-brown. The bill is yellowish with a red lower mandible that fades to yellow toward the base of the bill. Juveniles are brown above and pale below with grayish bill. The similar Peruvian Pelican has very similar plumages but is twice as large as Brown Pelican.

Status: The Brown Pelican is a migratory species in Peru and it is largely restricted to the warm waters of northern Peru in the Departments of Tumbes, Piura, and Lambayeque. They regularly disperse south, but this dispersal is more prevalent during strong El Niño years.

Name in Spanish: Pelícano Pardo.

Sub-species: Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis murphyi) Linnaeus, 1766.

Meaning of Name: Pelecanus: Gr. pelekan, pelekanos = pelican. occidentalis: L. occidens= west, from the west.

See more of the Family Pelecanidae   peru aves

Distribution Map
brown pelicanVoice:
Generally silent.


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 11/09/2014.