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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
City of Westminster in Greater London County, England, United Kingdom
 

The Pelicans of St Jame's Park

 
 
The Pelicans of St Jame's Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 13, 2017
1. The Pelicans of St Jame's Park Marker
Inscription. Pelicans were first introduced to St Jame's Park in 1664 as a gift from the Russian Ambassador to King Charles II. This was the beginning of a long tradition of keeping exotic wildfowl that continues to this day.

A mysterious arrival

In 1996 a healthy eastern white pelican was found by a gentleman in his garden near Southend. He sought advice from The Royal Parks wildlife officers but the burden of caring for the bird became too great , and he soon donated it to St Jame's Park. As the owner could not be traced, the bird remains alive and well in the park to this day.

A healthy diet of fish

Pelicans are piscivorous and are offered fish by The Royal Parks wildlife officer every day of the year. They enjoy a variety of sustainably-sourced sea fish, including whiting, herring, mackerel and sometimes sardines. Each pelican eats 2-5 fish per day.

Majestic birds

Eastern white pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) can grow up to 1.8 metres and their enormous bill makes up to a quarter of that length. They have the second largest wingspan of all living birds after the great albatrosses. The pelicans of St Jame's Park have been known to live for up to 50 years!
 
Erected by The Royal Parks Foundation.
 
Location.
The Pelicans of St Jame's Park Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 13, 2017
2. The Pelicans of St Jame's Park Marker - Wide View
The Pelicans are visible here, sitting on the rock in the background on the left.
51° 30.219′ N, 0° 7.775′ W. Marker is in City of Westminster, England, in Greater London County. Marker is on Horse Guards Road 0.3 kilometers south of The Mall, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: City of Westminster, England SW1A 2BJ, United Kingdom.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. For His Majesty's Pleasure (within shouting distance of this marker); Duck Island Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); Turkish Gun (about 210 meters away, measured in a direct line); The Battle of Britain Memorial (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Ho Chi Minh (approx. half a kilometer away); Trial of William Wallace (approx. half a kilometer away); Herman Melville (approx. half a kilometer away); Benjamin Franklin (approx. half a kilometer away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in City of Westminster.
 
Also see . . .  Pelicans of St James's Park (Atlas Obscura). "The colony of disturbingly large, but friendly, birds include five Eastern Whites and one South American White. Pelicans were first introduced to the park in 1664, a generous gift from a Russian Ambassador. In 2013, three of the five Eastern Whites arrived as a gift from the city of Prague, joining the descendants of the original Russian flock." (Submitted on October 27, 2017.) 
 
Categories. Animals
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 27, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 27, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 27, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
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