Overview of the Pelican
A pelican is a water bird with a large throat pouch.
There are eight species of pelicans, which are found
on all continents except Antarctica. The smallest species
is the Brow Pelican, which can weigh as little as 6
pounds, with a wingspan of 6 feet. The largest is the
Dalmation Pelican, which can weigh up to 33 pounds,
with a wingspans of 10 feet. The Australian Pelican
has the longest bill of any bird.
Pelicans swim very well, using their strong legs and
webbed feet (a feature in all birds classified as pelicans).
Pelicans eat mostly fish, but will also eat amphibians,
crustaceans, and very rarely, other birds. They catch
fish by expanding their throat pouch. They then must
drain it for about a minute before they can swallow.
Young pelicans are fed by their parents large amounts.
Scientists have observed that before or especially after
being fed, pelican chicks may seem to have a seizure
that ends with them falling unconscious. The reason
for this is not clearly known.
The Dalmatian Pelican and the Spot-billed Pelican are
the rarest species of pelican, with an estimated population
of 10,000 to 20,000 and 13,000 to 18,000 respectively.
The most common is believed to be the Australian Pelican,
with an estimated population of 400,000. However, the
White Pelican or Brown Pelican are close competitors
in population size.
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals http://www.wildlife-animals.com
an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also
guest writes for Dog Pound http://www.dog-pound.net