Great White Pelican at the Artis Royal Zoo (also known as Natura Artis Magistra), Amsterdam (Holland)
The Great White Pelican is also known as the Eastern White Pelican, Rosy Pelican or White Pelican. They are the second largest birds in the pelican family, with only the Dalmatian Pelican larger than them. It breeds from south-eastern Europe through Asia and in Africa in swamps and shallow lakes. Adult Great White Pelicans have pure white plumage with pinkish legs. Juveniles are grey in colour and have dark flight feathers. They have short strong legs with webbed feet to help propel them in the water and aid in take-off. They are usually found in groups in and around shallow warm fresh water. Their diet consists mainly of fish and they prefer to feed in the early morning. A Great White Pelican does not dive to catch its prey, instead, it dips it head in unison with other birds to scoop fish into its huge throat pouch. In the breeding season, these birds have a pinkish colour, with usually yellow on the breast.