Natalie Richards - The West Australian on May 18, 2016, 11:34 am
Is it a rare pigmentation or the stain of pollution?
Either way, this black pelican, photographed on Penguin Island last week is quickly become the talking point of twitchers and wildlife enthusiasts around the world.
Wildlife Photographer Ian Beattie photographed the black bird among a flock of white pelicans on Friday.
The Shoalwater-based photographer claims it was the third black pelican he had seen during two days after he saw two at Lake Richmond the day before.
He said the birds could fly and showed no sign of distress.
“Some of the birds looked quite grubby but none as black as him. He’s certainly striking, you notice him straight away,” he said.
“He was accepted into the flock but these three birds were the first I’d ever seen.”
A Department of Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman said a staff member had seen the pelican and made unsuccessful attempts to catch it.
She said the bird appeared healthy but the Department would continue investigating.