Spot billed pelican

Spot billed Pelican

The spot-billed pelican or grey pelican is a member of the pelican family. It is a bird of large inland and coastal waters, especially large lakes. At a distance they are difficult to differentiate from other pelicans in the region although it is smaller but at close range the spots on the upper mandible, the lack of bright colours and the greyer plumage are distinctive. In some areas these birds nest in large colonies close to human habitations.

The spot-billed pelican is a relatively small pelican but still a large bird. It is 125–152 cm long and a weight of 4–6 kg. It is mainly white, with a grey crest, hindneck and a brownish tail. The feathers on the hind neck are curly and form a greyish nape crest. The pouch is pink to purplish and has large pale spots, and is also spotted on the sides of the upper mandible. The tip of the bill (or nail) is yellow to orange. In breeding plumage, the skin at the base of the beak is dark and the orbital patch is pink. In flight they look not unlike the Dalmatian pelican but the tertials and inner secondaries are darker and a pale band runs along the greater coverts. The tail is rounder.

The newly hatched young are covered in white down. They then moult into a greyish speckled plumage. The spots on the bill appear only after a year. The full adult breeding plumage appears in their third year.

139 thoughts on “Spot billed pelican”

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  67. La question se pose à plusieurs titres. Les deux principales figures de l’islam de France ont participé au procès aux assises de Douai en 1997. Et ce n’est pas rien. Dalil Boubakeur, qui vient de tirer sa révérence à la tête de la Grande Mosquée de Paris, a été à l’époque sollicité par la justice pour donner un avis théologique sur la chose. Quant à Amar Lafsar, qui allait rapidement connaître une carrière nationale qu’on lui connaît à la tête de l’UOIF, il a témoigné, en faveur de l’exorciste. Ce qui était assez cohérent. Amar Lafsar voyait en l’exorciste un futur cadre de l’islam de France dans la région. Lafsar comme Boubakeur commençaient leurs carrières à l’époque où l’État balbutiait ses premiers plans pour un islam de France. Et des gens comme l’exorciste, prêchant en français et ayant fait des études, correspondaient au casting potentiel. En étant extérieur au sujet, on pouvait penser qu’en 1994 cette affaire n’était qu’un accident collatéral, un résidu de magie arrivé dans les valises des Algériens fuyant le pays après la guerre. C’est ce que la justice a pu croire peut-être, et d’autant plus qu’en 1994, le nouveau Code pénal qui entrait en vigueur venait d’être épousseté des vieilles contraventions liées à la magie ou la divination. On entrait dans le XXIe siècle et la bulle internet. Toute autorité religieuse proche de ses fidèles aurait dû voir l’explosion de la pratique. Mais surtout le fait que celle-ci était importée d’une dictature théocratique, dont l’expansion de la religion se faisait aux dépens de toutes les autres. Mais peut-être qu’aucun responsable du culte musulman ne voulait s’opposer de manière trop visible au royaume saoudien. D’autant que les autorités saoudiennes ont pris parti dans cette affaire. L’exorciste a bénéficié du soutien du grand mufti d’Arabie Saoudite (autant dire l’équivalant du pape !) en défense, arguant de la bonne foi du chasseur de démon et au passage faisant état de la peine qu’il aurait purgé si l’évènement s’était passé là-bas. En l’occurrence il n’aurait pas été poursuivi. On a du mal à s’imaginer le juge d’instruction français de l’époque recevant cette lettre venue d’une des pires dictatures au monde. Il y a quelque chose qu’on rappelle trop rarement quand il s’agit de parler de l’influence de l’islam saoudien en France. Tous les musulmans du monde prient en direction de la Mecque. S’y rendre est une obligation religieuse. Mais on n’y voyage pas comme ça, le royaume ferme ses portes à qui il veut. Et c’est certainement une des raisons de la grande complaisance de certains responsables du culte à l’égard du royaume. La pratique de l’exorcisme à la saoudienne a explosé en trente ans et dans certains pays comme l’Algérie il y a eu tellement de victimes que le gouvernement a envisagé un temps l’interdire. En France on parle souvent de l’islam pour évoquer les défaillances de ses institutions ou les franges les plus radicalisées. Entre les deux, il y a une majorité silencieuse de fidèles, des familles comme celle de Louisa ou la mienne qui vivent leurs malheurs à huis clos, loin de la politique, c’est vers eux que je préfère porter le regard.

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