All Pelicans Wingspan Explained: And Compared With Others

American White Pelican Wingspan

Pelicans Wingspan

The American white pelican is a large soaring aquatic bird in the Pelecaniformes order. It is one of the largest North American birds, being extremely large and conspicuous with white and black wingtips. 

The American white pelican is entirely white except for its black-edged wings, which are visible when it is in flight.

The American White Pelican has broad and very large wings, allowing it to fly long distances by soaring and gliding. The shape of the bird is similar to that of a Brown Pelican, but it is much larger.

On average the American White Pelican has a wingspan range of 95-120 in (240-300 cm) or 7.8 to 9.8 ft. 

Some birds of this species, however, can have a wingspan of up to 10 feet. The wingspan and the standing height together of the bird are almost double the average height of humans. Interesting, right!

Wingspan CentimeterInchesFeet
American white pelican240-300 cm95-120 in7.8 to 9.8 ft

Brown Pelican Wingspan

Pelicans Wingspan

Moving on to another type of pelican bird, we have the Brown Pelican. 

The brown pelican is a pelican of the Pelecanidae family, one of three species found in the Americas. 

The bird has a comically large bill, a sinuous neck, and a large, dark body. The bird is large, conspicuous, and gray-brown in color. It lives in saltwater habitats.

Brown Pelicans are found primarily along the southern and western sea coasts, and they are rarely seen inland. 

These can also be seen flying low over the waves in a single file, flapping and gliding in unison. 

Furthermore, lines of pelicans glide on their broad wings during flight, frequently surfing updrafts along wave faces or cliffs. 

Although the bird is quite large in itself, the brown pelican is the world’s smallest of the six pelican species. Talking about their wingspan, the Brown Pelicans have an average wingspan of 2.03 to 2.28 m (6 ft 8 in to 7 ft 6 in).

Wingspan CentimeterInchesFeet
Brown Pelican 203 to 228 m79.9 to 89.7 in6 ft 8 in to 7 ft 6 in

Peruvian Pelican Wingspan

The Peruvian Pelican, which lives on South America’s west coast, is another Pelican species on the list. 

Adult Peruvian Pelicans are silvery grey with pale-yellow to white heads and necks, but they are easily confused with other pelicans, so their wings can help you identify them.

The Peruvian pelican is twice as large as the brown pelican. The majestic Peruvian pelican is one of the largest birds in the Andes, with an average wingspan of up to 228 cm (7.5 ft) and a maximum wingspan of ten feet.

Wingspan CentimeterInchesFeet
Peruvian Pelican 228 cm89.7 inches 7.5 ft

Great White Pelican Wingspan

Here is the next species of Pelican. The Great White Pelican is a giant white waterbird with a robust bill and a yellow-orange throat pouch. The great white pelican is highly sociable and frequently forms large flocks, making them easier to spot.

Their bodies are massive, and they have long, broad wings attached to them. Dark flight feathers contrast with the rest of the wing during flight.

The male great white pelican is larger than the female pelican. They have wingspans ranging from 7.5 to 11.8 feet, making them the second largest bird in the pelican family. These birds’ average wingspan ranges from 226 to 360 cm (88.9 to 141.7 in).

Wingspan CentimeterInchesFeet
Great white pelican226 to 360 cm88.9 to 141.7 in7.5 to 11.8 ft

Australian Pelican Wingspan

The Australian Pelican can be found in many inland and coastal waters throughout Australia and New Guinea, but it avoids dry desert regions. 

The bird is a water bird species. Unlike the other pelicans, the Australian Pelicans have the longest beak of any pelican. It is also a very large and distinctive black-and-white pelican that is frequently seen along the coasts.

Interestingly, the Australian Pelican has the longest beak and the largest wings of any pelican. 

Furthermore, they are excellent soarers who can use thermals to reach high altitudes. They can fly for more than 24 hours, searching for breeding sites and sources of water.

Talking about the wingspan of the Australian Pelican, its average wingspan ranges from  230 to 260 cm (7.5 to 8.5 ft) or 90.55 to 102.3 inches. 

Wingspan CentimeterInchesFeet
Australian Pelican230 to 260 cm90.55 to 102.3 in7.5 to 8.5 ft

Pink-backed Pelican Wingspan

The Pink-backed Pelican is also a bird of the Pelican family. These are among the tiniest pelicans. These pelicans have a pink back, as the name implies, and the majority of their feathers are gray-white. 

Upperwing patterns are distinguished by dull grayish or pinking gray metrics that contrast with their darkish flight feathers.

Furthermore, these birds are among the largest flying birds on the planet. They may struggle to take off, but once airborne, they can easily fly alternating wing beats and glides. Despite having a smaller wingspan than the other pelicans, they can fly effectively.

It is a bit smaller in size when compared to other pelicans, but is quite large than other species of birds. The Pink-backed Pelican’s wingspan ranges from 215-290 cm (7.1-9.5 ft) or 84.6-114.17 inches.

Wingspan CentimeterInchesFeet
Pink-backed pelican215-290 cm84.6-114.17 in7.1-9.5 ft

Dalmatian Pelican Wingspan

Now we arrive at the largest and most visually appealing Pelican of all. The Dalmatian pelican is the world’s largest freshwater bird and the largest member of the pelican family.

It is not only the largest member of the family, but it is also one of the rare pelicans in the world. During the breeding season, this large pelican has stunning silvery-white plumage. Overall, they’re an amazing sight as they soar through our skies.

The bird has grayish-white wings with black tips and curly nape feathers. Their flocks fly in perfect unison across the sky. The massive bird’s wingspan ranges from 300 to 350 cm (118.11 to 137.79 in) or 9.84 to 11.4 feet.

Wingspan CentimeterInchesFeet
Dalmatian pelican300 to 350 cm 118.11 to 137.79 in9.84 to 11.4 ft

Spot-billed Pelican Wingspan

Coming to the last member of the pelican family, the Spot-billed Pelican. The bird is easily identified by its large pale body and hefty pinkish-pouched bill with diagnostic black patches on the upper mandible. 

Because of population declines, the Spot-billed Pelican has been designated as a nearly threatened species.

The average wingspan of the Spot-billed Pelican is around 213 to 250 cm (7 ft 0 in to 8 ft 2 in) or 83.85 to 98.42 inches.

Wingspan CentimeterInchesFeet
Spot-billed pelican213 to 250 cm83.85 to 98.42 in7 ft 0 in to 8 ft 2 in


And that was everything you need to know about the wingspan of pelicans. I hope this article was informative enough and you got something useful from it.

Thank You For Reading!

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