Peruvian Pelicans

Peruvian Pelican

The Peruvian Pelican, Pelecanus thagus, is a member of the pelican family. It used to be considered a subspecies of the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis).

Distribution / Range

It lives on the west coast of South America, from Lobos de Tierra Island in Peru to Pupuya Islet in Chile.


These birds are dark in colour with a white stripe from the top of the bill up to the crown and down the sides of the neck. They have long tufted feathers on the top of their heads.

The Peruvian birds are nearly twice the bulk of the Brown Pelican, averaging 15.4 lb (7 kg) in weight; they are also longer, measuring about 5 ft (1.5 m) overall.

Breeding / Nesting

The main breeding season occurs from September to March. Clutch size is usually two or three eggs. Eggs are incubated for approximately 4 to 5 weeks, with the rearing period lasting about 3 months.

Peruvian Pelican, Pelecanus thagus, in flight

Peruvian PelicanDiet / Feeding

This bird feeds on several species of fish. It feeds by diving into the water from flight, like the Brown Pelican.

Status / Range

Its status was first evaluated for the IUCN Red List in 2008, being listed as Near threatened.

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Peruvian pelican in Pan de Azucar National Park in Chile

Peruvian Pelican Pelecanus thagus

Peruvian Pelican, Pelecanus thagus

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