Dark pelican

Subject: Dark pelican
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 10:26:30 +1000
Several weeks ago there was some discussion re. a black (?) pelican at

I have discussed this with David Turner who has been studying pelicans at
Forster in NSW for the last decade or so.  David has observed some very
dark birds.  These range from birds with brown heads to those with the
brown extending to down the neck onto the body.  In even these darkest
birds the body is still largely the normal colouration.  All of hese birds
were immature.  David can recall no adult brown birds.

Bill colour in non-flying young is very variable from straw coloured to
black and any combination of these colours.  The bill is the normal colour
by the time they fledge.

David can offer no explanation for this extremely dark bird although he
makes the point that he has observed red and blue birds that had been
rubbing against fishing boats.  This would, however, not explain the dark

David would be very interested in seeing a photo of this bird.  please
reply to me directly is someone has such a photo.

David Geering

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