Pink-backed Pelicans


Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens)

Pink-backed PelicansThe Pink-backed Pelicans (Pelecanus rufescens) are native to Africa, southern Arabia, where they are usually found in swams and shallow lakes. They are believed to have formerly been found in Madagascar, but are now extinct on the island.

Nesting / Breeding

The nest is a large heap of sticks.

The average nest consists of 2 - 3 large white eggs.

The young feed by plunging their heads into the adult’s pouch, taking partially digested regurgitated fish.


This small pelican weighs about 5.5 kg (12 lbs) and has a wingspan of 2.4 m (7.9 ft).

The plumage is grey and white except for the pink back which gave this species its name.

The top of the bill is yellow and the pouch is usually greyish.

Breeding adults have long feather plumes on the head.

Similar Species:

The Pink-backed Pelican is considerably smaller and duller than the Great White Pelican.

Diet / Feeding

Pink-backed Pelicans mostly feed on fish and amphibians, often obtained by fishing in groups.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens)

Pink-backed Pelican Preening

Pink-backed Pelican diving for fish

Pink-backed Pelican, Pelecanus rufescensPink-backed Pelican in flight

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