Pelican fact and information

A pelican: what is it?

Pelican fact and information: Among the world’s most fascinating-looking birds are pelicans. Their enormous feet and bills may help you identify them.

Among the biggest birds in the world are pelicans. They have the potential to reach lengths of 10 to 15 cm and weights of 4.5 to 13.6 kg.

Pelicans come in eight different species, but they all share a sizable neck pouch. Two species of pelicans are brown, but the majority are light-colored.


The “totipalmate foot” refers to the two webbed feet with four toes that are shared by all pelicans. They all have big bills and a noticeable gular pouch, or neck pouch, that they utilize to catch fish and drain water. In addition, ular sacs are involved in body temperature regulation and mating displays. With wingspans of up to 11 feet, pelicans are adept in both the air and the water.

Distribution and Habitat

Pelican fact and information: Except for Antarctica, all of the world’s continents are home to pelicans. According to DNA research, pelicans can be divided into three branches: the Great White, the New World (brown, American White, and Peruvian), and the Old World (spot-billed, pink-backed, and Australian pelicans). The brown pelican is found along the western and Florida coasts of the United States as well as in northern South America, while the American white pelican is limited to interior areas of Canada. The Pacific coasts of Chile and Peru are home to the Peruvian pelican.

These are fish-eating animals that live near rivers, lakes, estuaries, and deltas; some are only found in coastal areas, while others are found close to sizable inland lakes.

Nutrition and Conduct

Every pelican consumes fish, which they seek either alone or in packs. When gulls and terns try to steal fish from their beaks, it’s because they have scooped up fish in their beaks and drained the water from their pouches before devouring their prey. They are also capable of making swift dives into the water to seize their prey. While some pelicans travel great distances, the majority of them stay stationary.

Pelicans are gregarious birds that build their nests in colonies, sometimes numbering in the thousands of pairs. While the smaller species make their nests in trees, shrubs, or on cliff ledges, the larger species—the Great White, American White, Australian, and Dalmation—build theirs on the ground. The size and intricacy of the nests differ.

Procreation and Children

The time of year that pelicans breed varies per species. Breeding might happen once a year or every two years; some breeders only do it during certain seasons or all year long. Depending on the species, the eggs might be blue, pale green, reddish, or chalky white in hue. Mother pelicans deposit their eggs in clutches that range in size from one to six at a time, depending on the species. The eggs then take 24 to 57 days to hatch.

The chicks are fed fish that has been regurgitated by both parents as part of their care and feeding duties. Post-fledgling care for many species can extend up to eighteen months. The sexual maturity of pelicans takes three to five years to reach.

State of Conservation

The majority of pelican species are deemed to be of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). There are estimates of the populations of two near-threatened species: The IUCN assessed the population of spot-billed and Dalmatian pelicans in 2018 to be between 8,700 and 12,000 and 11,400 and 13,400, respectively. As of right now, the numbers of the American white and Peruvian are known to be rising, the spot-billed and Dalmatian to be falling, and the Australian and pink-backed to be stable. There hasn’t been a count of Great White Pelicans lately.

Due to chemicals that had entered their food chains, brown pelicans were designated as endangered in the 1970s and 1980s, but since their populations have rebounded, they are no longer on the endangered list.

Pelican fact and information

Pelican fact and information: The order Pelecaniformes includes the eight extant pelicans. Pelicans, tropicbirds, boobies, darters, gannets, cormorants, and frigate birds are among the members of the Order Pelecaniformes. The Order Pelecaniformes consists of six families and roughly 65 species.

The Cretaceous epoch came to a close when the early Pelecaniformes emerged. Whether or not Pelecaniformes have a common ancestor is a topic of debate. According to recent research, convergent evolution may be the cause of some traits that the different pelecaniform subgroups have in common.

Where do seabirds reside?

All continents in the world are home to pelicans, with the exception of Antarctica. Because fish is their primary food source, pelicans like to congregate near bodies of water where food is always available. In warm climates, pelicans are more likely to be found, especially close to rivers, estuaries, and lakes.

Using feathers, wood, and leaves, pelicans construct their nests in trees close to the water. These nests will be constructed by pelicans, both male and female.