Overview

Distribution

Range

Anacapa I. and islands off Baja and in Gulf of California.

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Breeds along Pacific coast of central and southern California (the Channel Islands south), on islands off Baja California and on islands in the Gulf of California (south to Isabella and the Tres Marias Islands); ranges regularly north of the breeding grounds to southern British Columbia (Johnsgard 1993, AOU 1998).

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 122 cm

Weight: 3636 grams

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Diagnostic Description

Differs from subspecies Carolinensis in being larger (e.g., average bill length 347 mm and 312 mm in males and females, respectively, vs. 319 mm and 294 mm) and, in definitive alternate plumage, the brown hindneck being much darker (sometimes almost black) (Palmer 1962). Differs from subspecies OOCIDENTALIS in being much larger (average bill length of OCCIDENTALIS 288 mm and 261 mm, for males and females, respectively) (Palmer 1962).

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Type Information

Cotype for Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Catalog Number: USNM 86384
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Birds
Sex/Stage: Male; Adult
Preparation: Skin: Whole
Collector(s): L. Belding
Year Collected: 1882
Locality: La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, North America
  • Cotype: Ridgway. (Not Earlier Than July), 1884. Water Birds Of North America. 2 (mem. mus. comp. zool. 13): 132, 143.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Cotype for Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Catalog Number: USNM A9958
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Birds
Sex/Stage: Male; Adult
Preparation: Skin: Whole
Collector(s): R. Williamson
Year Collected: 1858
Locality: San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, California, United States, North America
  • Cotype: Ridgway. (Not Earlier Than July), 1884. Water Birds Of North America. 2 (mem. mus. comp. zool. 13): 132, 143.
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Cotype for Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Catalog Number: USNM A4526
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Birds
Sex/Stage: Female; Adult
Preparation: Skin: Whole
Collector(s): J. Newberry
Year Collected: 1855
Locality: San Francisco, California, United States, North America
  • Cotype: Ridgway. (Not Earlier Than July), 1884. Water Birds Of North America. 2 (mem. mus. comp. zool. 13): 132, 143.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: See files for P. OCCIDENTALIS.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

See files for P. OCCIDENTALIS.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: See files for P. OCCIDENTALIS.

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General Ecology

See files for P. OCCIDENTALIS.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: See files for P. OCCIDENTALIS.

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Reproduction

See files for P. OCCIDENTALIS.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N1B,N3N : N1B: Critically Imperiled - Breeding, N3N: Vulnerable - Nonbreeding

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T3 - Vulnerable

Reasons: Essentially restricted to California and western Mexico; populations have recovered from low levels caused by pesticides and disturbance; now relatively stable at about 50,000 breeding pairs.

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