Diet Preference and Activity Patterns of Great White Pelicans (Pelecanus Onocrotalus, Linnaeus, 1758) At Lake Hawassa, Ethiopia


  • Aberham Megaze Department of Zoological Sciences,
  • Afework Melesse


Activity patterns, Feeding ecology, Great White Pelicans, Lake Hawassa.


A study on the diet preference and activities of Great White
Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus, Linnaeus, 1758) was carried out along the
shore of Lake Hawassa, Ethiopia, during the wet and dry seasons in
2011/2012. Repeated observations and focal animal sampling methods were
used to study the diet and activity patterns. Activity patterns including
feeding, resting, preening, flying and alert behaviour were analyzed. Great
White Pelicans feed primarily on fish (81.9%), they also feed on worms
(13.1%), amphibians (0.94%) and some other invertebrates (4.05%). The
percentage frequency of fish in the diet of P. onocrotalus was 79.2% and
84.5% during the wet and dry seasons, respectively. Major activities of the
species during the day time were feeding (45.69%), resting (23.39%),
preening (13.95%), flying (14.7%) and alert (1.95%). Feeding activity was
intensive and reached its peak in the morning (09:00-12:00 h) and late
afternoon hours (15:00-18:00 h). Resting was more during the midday.
Further ecological studies on Great White Pelicans should be conducted to
get more information about the bird and facilitate conservation measures in
the study area.