FWS Focus


The adult brown pelican is a large dark gray-brown water bird with white about the head and neck. Immatures are gray-brown above and on the neck, with white underparts. Although the Caribbean subspecies resembles the eastern subspecies, the Caribbean brown pelican has a darker non-breeding plumage above the surface. The Caribbean pelican usually also has a darker undersurface plumage during breeding than does the eastern brown pelican. Both subspecies can reach up to 8 pounds and larger individuals have wing spreads of over 7 feet.

Scientific Name

Pelecanus occidentalis
Common Name
Brown Pelican
FWS Category

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



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