"Greg Johnston" <>
Thu, 24 May 2012 22:43:59 +0930
Some 1500 Australian pelicans have been wing-tagged at a breeding colony
near Adelaide since 2002. Each yellow wing tag has an individual number and
the words "Adelaide Zoo" written on it. Adelaide Zoo was chosen because I
was working there when I started the project, and because it is a public
organization that people can usually find in order to report a tagged
pelican. There is a "report a pelican page on the Zoo's website which
automatically forwards reports to me for inclusion in our data base. If you
see a wing tagged pelican please report it either via this website
g) or to me directly. We'd be really interested to know when and where you
saw the pelican, is it dead or alive and any other observations.
These wing-tagged pelicans are wild birds and don't belong to Adelaide Zoo.
One wing tagged bird lives in the pelican enclosure at Adelaide Zoo. No
pelicans move regularly between the zoo and the wild.
The Wing-tags have been applied by the Adelaide Pelican Volunteers through
the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board.
Wing-tagging is part of a broader research project that I've lead and which
is aimed at understanding breeding biology of Australian pelicans -in
particular why they engage in siblicidal brood reduction.
Early in the study we used traditional leg bands from the Australian Bird
and Bat Banding Scheme, as well as wing tags. We found that the leg tags
were often lost, whereas most wing tags remained on birds. We've had two
wing tags break off, whereas we have had tens of leg bands lost from
pelicans. During the last few years we've only used wing tags. To date we've
received several hundred reports from the public of pelicans wing-tagged
near Adelaide. Reports have come from the Northern Territory, Queensland,
New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Several individual pelicans
have been reported numerous times and we have been able to build a picture
of their movements over several years and the frequency with which they
return to our study colony and breed. Some pelicans tagged as chicks near
Adelaide have been found breeding on the Coorong over the past few years.
By way of specific feedback on pelican 1277 : This bird was an adult when it
was wing-tagged on 14 June 2010. When captured it already had an ABBBS leg
band 170-22137. It was captured on nest D18 which contained two chicks. I'd
appreciate more details on the observation of 1277 if you can provide them,
If anyone else sees/has seen wing-tagged pelicans I'd really appreciate it
if you would report them.
Dr Greg Johnston
Honorary Research Associate-Vertebrates
South Australian Museum
>From: "Tony Russel" <>
>To: "'Birding Aus'" <>
>Subject: [Birding-Aus] FW: Did you know...???
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>Here's an interesting bit.
>Did you know that the Pelicans which hang around the mouth of the Torrens
>Adelaide "belong" to the Adelaide Zoo and go back to the Zoo at night for a
>sleep?... and during the day they go to wherever the tucker is best.
>check yellow-tag on the Pelican in this photograph. ( This was a zoo tag
>marked Adelaide Zoo 1277)
>Images since removed as too large for Tx over b-a.
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Greg Johnston <=
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