Pelicans on a bench in St. James's Park
St. James's Park

The pelicans of St. James's Park

The pelicans are a unique and traditional aspect of the park dating back hundreds of years, and a popular sight with visitors.

First introduced to the park in 1664 as a gift from the Russian Ambassador, over 40 pelicans have since called the park home.

Isla, Tiffany and Gargi, and our more recent new additions Sun, Moon and Star can often be found basking on their favourite rocks in the middle of the lake. You can often see them being fed between approximately 2:30pm and 3:00pm each day, next to Duck Island Cottage.

The pelicans are free to roam but rarely stray far from the lake. Look out for the pelicans catching fish from the lake and swimming and preening together. Pelicans are outgoing, sociable creatures. One rather mischievous pelican used to fly over to London Zoo in The Regent's Park to steal fish for lunch and they will often sit on park benches next to visitors.

Facts about pelicans

  • Pelicans have the second largest wingspan of all living birds (after the great albatrosses) ranging from 226cm to 360cm
  • Adults have pure white plumage, a bare pink facial patch around the eye and pinkish legs
  • Males are larger than females, and have a long beak that grows in a downwards arc, as opposed to the shorter, straighter beak of the female
  • Adult males weigh from 9 to 15kg. Females are considerably smaller and weigh from 5.4 to 9kg