Australian Pelican

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An Australian pelican is seen from the side sitting on a patch of land surrounded by water
Pelecanus conspicillatus, Temm.
Australian pelican.

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-
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The Ernst Mayr Library, The Internet Archive

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, , , : ,

Description

An Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) is seen from the side sitting on a patch of land surrounded by water. The Australian pelican is an aquatic bird in the family Pelecanidae. Its fishing habits are described as follows by the author:

The food consists of fish, and the method pursued by a large flock of these birds working together to obtain their food is an amazing and a most instructive sight. Spreading out so as to enclose the space of water into the shallow end of which it is desired to drive the fish, they start, apparently on the giving of a signal, beating the water into foam with their wings. Making thus a resounding roar, they gradually close in towards the shoal water, driving their prey before them. When they have thus closed their victims into a narrow space, and apparently after another signal has been given to change tactics, the beating is discontinued and a most exciting scramble ensues for the fish which have been hemmed in.

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