Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Skull Replica or American White Pelican measures 17.0 inches. American White Pelican Skull is museum quality polyurethane cast. 2-part skull (separate cranium & jaw). Made in USA. Cast of Original California Academy of Sciences specimen.

The Pelecanus erythrorhynchos or American white pelican is a large aquatic soaring bird from the order Pelecaniformes. It breeds in interior North America, moving south and to the coasts, as far as Costa Rica, in winter.

The American white pelican rivals the trumpeter swan, with a similar overall length, as one of the longest birds native to North America.

Both are very large and plump, it has an overall length of about 50 to 70 in., courtesy of the huge beak which measures 11.3 to 15.2 in. in males and 10.3 to 14.2 in. in females.

Pelecanus erythrorhynchos or American white pelican has a wingspan of about 95 to 120 in.

The species also has the second-largest average wingspan of any North American bird, after the California condor. This large wingspan allows the bird to easily use soaring flight for migration.

Body weight can range between 7.7 and 30 lb. although typically these birds average between 11 and 20 lb.

The plumage is almost entirely bright white, except for the black primary and secondary remiges, which are hardly visible except in flight.

From early spring until after breeding has finished in mid-late summer, the breast feathers have a yellowish hue.

After moulting into the eclipse plumage, the upper head often has a grey hue, as blackish feathers grow between the small wispy white crest.

The Pelecanus erythrorhynchos or American white pelican’s bill is huge and flat on the top, with a large throat sac below, and, in the breeding season, is vivid orange in color as is the iris, the bare skin around the eye, and the feet.

In the breeding season, there is a laterally flattened “horn” on the upper bill, located about one-third the bill’s length behind the tip.

This is the only one of the eight species of pelican to have a bill “horn”. The horn is shed after the birds have mated and laid their eggs.

Outside the breeding season, the bare parts become duller in color, with the naked facial skin yellow and the bill, pouch, and feet an orangy-flesh color.

Apart from the difference in size, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos or American white pelican males and females look exactly alike. Immature birds have light grey plumage with darker brownish nape and remiges.

Their bare parts are dull grey. Chicks are naked at first, then grow white down feathers all over, before moulting to the immature plumage.

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