Area of zoo
Orange zone
Enclosure status
Population in the wild
IUCN status
Least Concern
Scientific name
Pelecanus onocrotalus
South East Europe, Africa and Asia
Lakes and marshes, river mouths and along coastlines

What Eastern white pelicans look like? 

A large bird with the famous pelican beak. This huge beak is characterised by the skin underneath that allows the pelican to hold large volumes of water. It has a large wingspan and white features. 

Three pelicans in the water at London Zoo
Pelican at London Zoo

Eastern white pelican facts

  • They use their large bills to scoop up fish. 

  • Often fish in groups, stretched out in a line to surround a shoal of fish. 

  • They do not store or carry food in the pouch. 

  • These pelicans turn pink in spring! This is due to a change in diet and being ready to breed. 

What do Eastern white pelicans eat?  


Eastern white pelican habitat 

Lakes and marshes, river mouths and along coastlines 

Where do Eastern white pelicans live?  

South East Europe, Africa and Asia. 

What threats do Eastern white pelicans face? 

People are a threat when they disturb pelicans and destroy their habitat.  

See an Eastern white pelican at London Zoo

A pair of pelicans at London Zoo


Book your ticket now to see an Eastern white pelican at London Zoo

Our birds

  • Waldrapp ibis at London zoo
    Geronticus eremita

    Waldrapp ibis

    There are only around 250 of these birds left in the wild, spread thinly across many countries.

  • A greater flamingo with a chick
    Greater flamingos

    Greater flamingo

    Flamingos get their beautiful pink colour from the small animals that they eat.

  • Splendid sunbird perched on a flower
    Nectarinia coccinigaster

    Splendid sunbird

    Splendid sunbirds can hoover just like a hummingbird, to feed on nectar from flowers.

  • Humboldt penguin underwater swimming at London Zoo
    Spheniscus humboldti

    Humboldt Penguin

    Humbolt penguins are from the beaches of Peru and Chile, and can swim speeds of up to 30mph!

  • Ruppell's griffon vulture close up
    Gyps rueppelli

    Ruppell’s griffon vulture

    This vulture holds the record for the greatest flying height recorded for any bird.

  • Our animals
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