Family Pelicans (Pelecanidae)

Least Concern

Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)


French: Pélican à lunettes German: Brillenpelikan Spanish: Pelícano australiano

Pelecanus conspicillatus


, 1824,

New South Wales, Australia


Part of a clade that includes also P. crispus, P. philippensis and P. rufescens#R. Monotypic.


Most of Australia and also Tasmania. Regular non-breeding visitor to New Guinea, Solomon Is and Indonesia; vagrant in New Zealand#R.

Descriptive notes

152–188 cm; 4–6·8 kg; wingspan 230–260 cm; bill 409–500 mm in male, 346–408 mm in female. Breeding adult has mostly white head and... read more


At breeding site, utters groaning and belching sounds probably as threat, also "ah-ah-aarrha", "uh-... read more


Large stretches of open water lacking dense aquatic vegatation; both inland and coastal. Typically... read more

Food and feeding

Probably mostly fish, including carp (Cyprinus carpio), Carassius auratus, Leiopotherapon unicolor and perch (... read more


Poorly known, but apparently breeds almost all year round in places; timing and duration largely dependent on rainfall and water levels.... read more


Seasonal factors influence nomadic movements, with occasional mass movements during drought; also... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally stable and common in suitable habitat. Assessment of global population difficult owing to this species' nomadic habits... read more

Recommended citation

Elliott, A., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 April 2020).