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Saturday, 21 January 2017



Pelicans are a genus of large water birds comprising the family Pelecanidae.

They are characterized by a long beak and large throat pouch used for catching prey and draining water from the scooped up contents before swallowing.

The American white pelican can hold up to three gallons of water in its bill.

They have predominantly pale plumage, the exceptions being the brown and Peruvian pelicans.

The bills, pouches and bare facial skin of all species become brightly colored before the breeding season.

The wing span of a pelican may be 12 feet or more.


Pelicans may be found in every continent except Antarctica..

The eight pelican species have a patchy global distribution, ranging latitudinally from the tropics to the temperate zone.

Pelicans frequent inland and coastal waters where they feed principally on fish, catching them at or near the water surface.

Four white-plumaged species tend to nest on the ground, and four brown or grey-plumaged species nest mainly in trees.


Gregarious birds, pelicans often hunt cooperatively and breed colonially.

The brown pelican can dive into the ocean from about 60 feet up in the air to catch its lunch.

A pelican catches fish in its bill, flips it back to drain out water then swallows its prey at once.


The pelican has a long history of cultural significance in mythology, and in Christian and heraldic iconography.

The birds have long been persecuted because of their perceived competition with fishermen, and have suffered from habitat destruction, disturbance and environmental pollution.

In the 16th century a pelican was the name for a pronged instrument for extracting teeth.

Under London's 1977 Royal and Other Parks and Gardens Regulations, "touching a pelican" is forbidden without written permission.


When the island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay was first explored by the Spanish in 1775, it was named "Isla de los Alcatraces" or "Island of the Pelicans."

The famous medical missionary Dr. Albert Schweitzer had a pet pelican named Parsifal.

Source Daily Express

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