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Australian Pelican - Aboriginal information

(Pelecanus conspicillatus)
Alternative name: "Spectacled Pelican"
Aboriginal names: "gulaanbali" [yuwaalaraay], "guliyali"/"guliyaali"/"gulayaali" [gamilarray, yuwaalaraay, yuwaaliyaay]; "jungahr"/"jungar"/"jungur*", "ngadjang-nguhr" [bundjalung]; "patjangal"/"paRangal" [yartwatjali, tjapwurrung, djadjawurrung]; "nerimba", "boodelong" "ngooloomberri" (WA); "bilbungra", "boolungal", "millemurro", "nangkero", "parangool", "tarraloo", "thaumpara", "warandoo", "bulwarra", "kunumbirra"

Size: 1.6-1.8 m; wing span 2.3-2.5 m
Weight: 4-13 kg (typically 4.5-7.7 kg)

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Spiritual significance

The Australian Pelican features in Aboriginal creation stories. A few examples are reproduced or listed here.

R. A. Roberts and C. P. Mountford tell the story of "Boora the Pelican" (1968 ed.), p. 16. This story explains how Australian Pelicans got their black and white colour pattern.

Disclaimer: Not being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, we make no claim of intellectual ownership of any of the information presented here. We merely collect facts and stories documented by others. Credits/references are listed HERE.

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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