Birds of the Bible – Pelicans II

Australian Pelican

Australian Pelican

We were birdwatching at Lake Hollingsworth this week and spotted 11 American White Pelicans on the lake and also 5 Brown Pelicans hanging out with them. Over them were at least 10 or so Osprey circling hoping for some leftovers or fish to be scared up. So, this week we will revisit the “Birds of the Bible – Pelicans.”

In the first article we covered the American White Pelicans and the Brown Pelicans (our North American Pelicans), but there are six more around the world. They are  the:

Australian Pelican widespread on the inland and coastal waters of Australia and New Guinea, also in Fiji, parts of Indonesia and as a vagrant to New Zealand. Medium-sized by pelican standards: 5.3-6 ft long with a wingspan of 6–8.3 ft and weighing 9–29 lb). It is predominantly white with black along the primaries of the wings. The pale, pinkish bill is enormous, even by pelican standards, and is the largest bill in the avian world. The record-sized bill was 19.5 in long.

Dalmation Pelican It breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia to China in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a crude heap of vegetation. The largest of the pelicans, averaging 67 inches in length, 24-33 lbs in weight and just over 10 ft in wingspan. On average, it’s the world’s heaviest flying species. Peruvian Pelican The Peruvian birds are nearly twice the bulk of the Brown Pelican, averaging 15.4 lb in weight; they are also longer, measuring about 5 ft overall.

Great White Pelican Also known as the Eastern White Pelican or Great White Pelican, it breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia and in Africa in swamps and shallow lakes. The tree nest is a crude heap of vegetation. A large pelican, at 22 lbs, 63 in long and with a 110 inch wingspan. It differs from the Dalmatian Pelican, the only larger species of pelican, by its pure white, rather than greyish-white, plumage, a bare pink facial patch around the eye and pinkish legs.

Pink-Backed Pelicans

Pink-Backed Pelicans

Pink-backed Pelican A resident breeder in Africa, southern Arabia and Madagascar in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a large heap of sticks, into which 2-3 large white eggs are laid. The chicks feed by plunging their heads deep into the adult’s pouch and taking the partially digested regurgitated fish. A small pelican, but the wingspan is still around 7.9 ft with an average weight of 12 lbs. It is much smaller and duller than the Great White Pelican. The plumage is grey and white, with a pink back.

Spot-billed Pelican It breeds in southern Asia from southern Pakistan, Republic of India to Indonesia. It is a bird of large inland and coastal waters, especially shallow lakes. The nest is a heap of vegetation in a tree. A small pelican, at 49-60 in long and a weight of 9-13.2 lbs. It is mainly white, with a grey crest, hindneck and tail. Information taken from Wikipedia


The LORD will be awesome to them, For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth; People shall worship Him, Each one from his place, Indeed all the shores of the nations. “You Ethiopians also, You shall be slain by My sword.” And He will stretch out His hand against the north, Destroy Assyria, And make Nineveh a desolation, As dry as the wilderness. The herds shall lie down in her midst, Every beast of the nation. Both the pelican and the bittern Shall lodge on the capitals of her pillars; Their voice shall sing in the windows; Desolation shall be at the threshold; For He will lay bare the cedar work. This is the rejoicing city That dwelt securely, That said in her heart, “I am it, and there is none besides me.” How has she become a desolation, A place for beasts to lie down! Everyone who passes by her Shall hiss and shake his fist. (Zep 2:11-15 NKJV)

“Judah had been taunted and mocked by the neighboring nations, Moab and Ammon, but God reminded them that he had “heard the taunts” (Zep_2:8), and that the taunters would be punished for their pride (Zep_2:10). At times the whole world seems to mock God and those who have faith in him. When you are ridiculed, remember that God hears and will answer. Eventually, in God’s timing, justice will be carried out. To predict the destruction of Nineveh 10 years before it happened would be equivalent to predicting the destruction of London, Tokyo, Paris, or New York. Nineveh was the ancient Near Eastern center for culture, technology, and beauty. It had great libraries, buildings, and a vast irrigation system that created lush gardens in the city. The city wall was 60 miles long, 100 feet high, and over 30 feet wide and was fortified with 1,500 towers. Yet the entire city was destroyed so completely that its very existence was questioned until it was discovered, with great difficulty, by 19th-century archaeologists. Nineveh had indeed become as desolate and dry as the desert.” (Notes from the Life Application Bible on Zephaniah 2:8-15)


See also these links:

Interesting link to Our Daily Bread about the Pathetic Pelican.

Birds of the Bible – Pelicans

Pelicans Page with Pictures and Videos

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