I noticed this as commonplace with Aust Pelicans in the Newcastle, NSW, area whilst living there from 2009-2010, seeing many pelicans perched atop metal light poles along the Central Coast and at places like Swansea, Belmont and Pelican on Lake Macquarie.
I've also seen pelicans do this at Wollongong Harbour whilst I was waiting to hop on many a pelagic trip during this time as well...
it's almost as incongruous as seeing White-faced Herons and Aust Brush-turkeys up here in Wet Tropics perched on power lines!!
next I'm waiting to see do this on power lines up here is a Great-billed Heron - now that WILL look very odd indeed!!
solar whisper wildlife cruises,
& trinity beach, cairns, fnq
From: Birding-Aus <> on behalf of Philip Veerman <>
Sent: Saturday, 19 January 2019 6:25 PM
To: 'Canberra Birds';
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Pelicans perching on poles
I went to Batemans Bay this week (NSW SE coast, down from Canberra, for those not local). A thing that I noticed and usually have noticed there, is that the Pelicans really like to perch on light poles there. It seems to me a difficult and strange thing for
such heavy birds to do. They can hardly be looking for food from there. Given that even birds like Galahs sometimes have difficulty perching on these rounded smooth steel structures and Pelicans don’t have gripping feet and they would need to achieve almost
zero speed in flight to perch there. So is that a local habit or widespread? At San Remo near Phillip Island, there is a bit of a tourist attraction of feeding of Pelicans, but they fly in to the car park area, I did not notice them perching on poles. Surprisingly
a web search typing in “Pelicans perching on poles” provided many pictures
but these are mostly stumps or piers not high light poles. Many are Australian Pelicans and the American Brown Pelicans which I suspect is not so big.