Animals -> Birds -> Other Birds -> Pelican


The American White Pelican was eaten by the Chilcotin in fall when flocks migrated southward [1], as well by the Coast Salish and Red Earth Cree [2, 3]. Pelicans were also eaten near Slave River in the far north [4].

Pelicans were usually roasted or boiled [5]. These large birds were often reserved for adults, while children ate smaller fowl [6]. Pelican wings were made into brushes by the Southern Okanagan [5].


1.         Teit JA: The Shuswap, vol. Series: American Museum of Natural Histroy ( The Jesup North Pacific Expedition). New York: AMS PRESS INC.; 1975.

2.         Suttles W (ed.): Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 7: Northwest Coast. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution; 1990.

3.         Meyer D: Appendix I: Plants, Animals and Climate; Appendix IV: Subsistence-Settlement Patterns. In: The Red Earth Crees, 1860-1960. Volume 1st edition, edn.: National Musem of Man Mercury Series; 1985: 175-185-200-223.

4.         Russel F: Explorations in the Far North. In: Explorations in the Far North. edn. Iowa: University of Iowa; 1898.

5.         Post RH: The Subsistence Quest. In: The Sinkaietk or Southern Okanagan of Washington. edn. Edited by Spier L. Menasha, Wisconsin, U. S. A.: George Banta Publishing Company Agent; 1938: 11-33.

6.         Walker Jr. DE (ed.): Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 12: Plateau. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution; 1998.

The American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) is a large water bird, known for their huge yellow bill with a large skin pouch. They occur in large breeding colonies on remote islands of large freshwater lakes in central western North America and spend the winter along southern coastal waters. They typically weigh between 5 and 9 kg, but can weigh over 13.5 kg and have a wingspan of close to 3 m. They have a long neck and are completely white, except for their black wing edges and tips. They feed mainly on fish, which they scoop out of the water using their bill pouch.


Knopf FL, Evans RM: American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). In: The Birds of North America Online. Edited by Poole A. Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; 2004.


Distribution maps provided below, unless otherwise stated, were obtained from Birds of North America Online, maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and all pictures provided below were obtained from Encyclopedia of Life
American White Pelican
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