How to Draw an Australian Pelican

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw an Australian Pelican in 7 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represents how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Australian Pelican.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw an Australian Pelican - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: The Australian Pelican is a large water bird that lives on the coasts of Australia. It is known for its large bill, or mouth, which it uses to scoop up fish and other food from the water. Start by drawing the pelican’s head. Make a small upside down ‘U’ and add a long bill to it. Did you know that the pelican has the longest bill of all birds? Inside his bill is a pouch that he uses to hold the water and fish before he eats it.

Step 2: Next, add a line to its bill for the mouth. Add a circle for his eye.

Step 3: Draw a short curving line to make his back, and a longer line underneath for his belly.

Step 4: To draw the wing, start by drawing a curved upside down ‘L’ shape. Add some feathers ‘fingers’ to the end, and draw some jagged lines to make more feathers. The pelican’s wingspan can reach from 7.5 to 8.5 feet!

Step 5: Draw another wing on the opposite side, under the belly.

Step 6: Add some more lines to make his tail.

Step 7: Last, add a narrow sideways ‘V’ shape to create his legs. The pelican is mostly white with black markings, and his bill is a pink color.

Interesting Facts about Australian Pelicans

Australian pelicans are the largest of all seven pelican species. They weigh about 15 pounds and are about 5 feet tall. They have an 11-foot wingspan! These birds are found throughout the entire continent of Australia, as well as Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and western Indonesia.

Did you know?

  • Australian pelicans live an average of 25 years.
  • They are the only pelican species native to Australia.
  • They inhabit estuaries, coastlines, swamps, lakes, and rivers.
  • Despite their weight and size, Australian pelicans can stay in the air for up to 24 hours.
  • They can eat up to almost 20 pounds of food a day. They eat ducklings, tadpoles, turtles, crustaceans, and seagulls. The biggest part of their diet is fish.
  • They eat together in large flocks of up to 1,900 pelicans. They work together to gather fish for mealtime.

Australian pelicans are in The Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest bills out of all of the birds in the world. They are about 1.5 feet long. Their bills have a throat patch that can hold up to three gallons of water. During breeding season, their bill and pouch changes color. They become pink, yellow, and blue in certain parts.