Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis)

OTHER NAMES: Grey Pelican
Latin Etymology: Pelecanus ("pelican") philippensis ("of the Philippines")
Adult Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis) at Prek Toal, Cambodia - February 2019

Local Name (Khmer): ?
Featured Subspecies: N/A 
Weight: 4.1-6kg
Length: 125-150cm
Wingspan: 210-240cm
NO UK STATUS Red List: Near Threatened

The Spot-billed Pelican is the first member of the pelican family I've ever encountered in the wing, and it's certainly an impressive bird; a vast wingspan and substantial weight easily puts it amongst the largest species I've seen, and the famous pelican bill is certainly a fascinating adaptation.  The Spot-billed is certainly a species that has gone through the ringer, extinct in large sections of it's former range, including the Philippines, which gave it it's latin name, it only holds on in India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.   That being said, it is apparently exhibiting signs of recovery, and has been downgraded from Vulnerable to Near Threatened by IUCN.

Related Species:
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Pelecanidae
Genus: Pelecanus
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
CAMBODIA - A localised resident.
 - CAMBODIA/SINGAPORE 2019 TRIP: Common at Prek Toal

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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