Earlier this year we welcomed some pelican chicks to the Paultons animal family and they are growing super quickly! Paultons is home to the Pink Backed Pelican species, scientifically known as Pelecanus rufescens. Read more about our Pelican chicks below.
- What does a Pelican Chick look like?
When they are first born, Pelican chicks are featherless. You can see a picture of the Pelican chicks when they were just a few days old below! As they grow, young pelicans will be brown, with a slight pinkish tinge. As their name suggests, when fully grown these pelicans have a pink back. Most of their feathers are grey-white, though their breast and abdomen is also pink in colour.
- How old are the Pelican Chicks?
The Pelican chicks were born on 5th and 7th September, which means they are now 2 months old.
- What do Pelican Chicks eat?
Our Pelican chicks are hand reared and are fed a diet of fish. Fully grown pelicans will eat up to 1 kilogram of food each day. The Pink-Backed Pelican scoops up the fish in its bill and squeezes out the water before swallowing its food. Large individuals can eat fish up to 400g in weight, but fish between 80-290g are more usual. They will eat up to 1kg of food each day.
- What is the traditional habitat of a Pelican?
The Pink-Backed Pelican is found in Central and Southern Africa. It is found in coastal and wetland areas, lakes and estuaries, but not the open ocean.
- How big will the Pelican Chicks grow?
The Pink-Backed Pelican is the smallest of the 8 pelican species. The Pelican chicks will grow to up to 125 – 132cm in height and 3.9 – 7kg in weight. You can visit our fully grown Pelicans at the Park next time you visit!
6. How long do Pelicans live for?
Pink-backed pelicans may live between 15 – 25 years in the wild and up to 54 years under human care.