Pelicans in Australia

Pelicans in Australia

Australia is a huge continent but there is one species of Pelican which ranges the entire continent. Pelicans visit the salt lakes of central Australia when they have water and will be seen in large numbers when inland river systems are flooding. Even when there is little water a few pelican remain.

Pelican at an inland creek system near the town of Chinchilla
Pelican at an inland creek system near the town of Chinchilla
Pelican at coastal fresh water
Pelican at coastal fresh water

Notice the birds’ large pink bill and throat pouch. The pelican are excellent at fishing. Pelican’s legs and feet are grey.

Pelican fishing in the ocean
Pelican fishing in the ocean

Pelicans breed in colonies which are wide spread some are permanent and some arise by opportunity.

Pelican in flight
Pelican in flight

Several years ago we travelled to Lake Eyre in central Australia to see the water filling the salt lake and the pelican colony and other birds pouring in. Such an event is a once in a lifetime occurrence. If anyone knows how the birds know the weather conditions thousands of kilometres away and how to get to a place they have never been please let me know.

I hope you enjoyed the photos


12 thoughts on “Pelicans in Australia

  1. Those are some beautiful pictures of pelicans! I’m from Canada and we have pelicans here, and they are such beautiful birds. I’d love to have a chance to visit Australia and see some of the wildlife such as the Australian pelicans. It’d be neat to see how they differ compared to the ones we have here!

  2. I love watching pelicans in full flight and one of my favourite places to see them is on the Noosa River QLD where you can see them gliding a couple metres above the river, it’s an amazing sight.

    Whenever I go to the seaside, I always look out for pelicans as they are just fascinating to watch, at Redcliffe, they sit on the light posts and watch the water.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your post and I am looking forward to heading out to see the pelicans again soon.

  3. Hi Amanda, I love your website, the pictures are great. The pelican is such a huge bird, we have an area of wetlands not far from where we live in Kwinana, Western Australia where these birds go to. When your driving along near this area all you see is heaps of these birds in flight it is truly amazing. All the best, Kerry

  4. I can’t say I know a lot about pelicans but the pictures were great and you did a good job describing the pelicans. Also for people who like picture these are very well. Asking a question at the end of the article is great for visitors engagement but I really still have not guessed how almost all animals can serve the weather.

    1. Hi Amanda

      Great to hear from you. I think birds and animals are in tune with their environment and that is how they know the impending weather. I think they read the signs.



  5. Beautiful birds indeed. It always amazes how different species adapt to survive. Perhaps humans could learn a thing or two. 🙂 Are these specifies found in other countries or are they special to Australia?

    I have never been to Australia but I bet it is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures.

    1. Hi Melody, great to read your comments. Thank you so much. Yes we are very lucky in Australia for its beauty as a country and for all our beautiful land, bird and water animals. The Australian Pelican is quite unique in its appearance but Pelicans are found on all continents (except the cold Antarctica). A very special bird.


  6. Dear Amanda,

    I often wanted to go to Australia to see the wildlife there. I love birds in general. Their ability to fly and see the world down below, they are the first real life airplanes of the skies I would say.

    I have heard that Pelicans can hold up to 3 gallons of water in their mouths. I suppose the Kingfisher and Pelican are cousins in that they specialize in hunting down their favorite prey, fish.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. 🙂

    Wishing you all the best with your online success above and beyond the horizon,


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