27 interesting facts about pelicans

Notable for their unusual appearance, pelicans are interesting and curious birds. Their way of life is inextricably linked with the seas and oceans, so the inhabitants of the hinterland rarely meet them. But there are quite a lot of pelicans on the sea, and it’s hard not to notice them, as they immediately catch your eye. Fortunately, they are completely harmless to humans, who are feared and avoided.

Interesting facts about pelicans

  1. There are eight species of these birds in the world.
  2. An adult pelican can weigh up to 12-14 kg.
  3. The pelican’s beak is unique in the presence of an elastic leather bag in its lower part. It is used for catching fish.
  4. In length, the pelican’s beak can reach a third of the body length of this bird (interesting facts about birds).
  5. Unlike most other birds, feathers in pelicans get wet quite easily, as they do not fit snugly to the body. In this case, they wring them out with their beak.
  6. The extinct ancestors of pelicans, who lived on Earth fifty million years ago, reached a weight of 40 kg. These were truly gigantic birds.
  7. The body of an adult pelican can reach 160-180 cm in length.
  8. Their wingspan is also impressive – up to 5 meters!
  9. During the flights, pelicans can gain height up to 3 kilometers.
  10. Unlike some other birds diving for fish, pelicans cannot do this, because they are too light for this. Therefore, they mainly catch their prey near the surface of the water column.
  11. In European heraldic art, the pelican personified the selfless love of parents for their children.
  12. Pelican chicks learn to fly 2.5 months after hatching from eggs.
  13. Pelicans are very silent. They usually give voice only during the nesting period.
  14. These birds live near both salt and fresh water bodies.
  15. Unlike many of their relatives, they do not form permanent pairs, changing partners every year.
  16. Only about 10% of a pelican’s body weight is its skeleton.
  17. They often form mixed colonies, arranging nests interspersed with birds of other species, but leading a similar lifestyle.
  18. Despite the fact that pelicans feed mainly on fish, cases have been recorded when they hunted other birds.
  19. On average, a pelican eats about 1 kg of fish per day.
  20. Despite rather modest appetites, several buckets of fish can easily fit in a bag on a pelican’s beak.
  21. Since these birds have no nostrils and breathe through a half-open beak.
  22. Pelicans often hunt in groups, making noise and driving fish into shallow water (interesting facts about fish).
  23. Of all the flying birds on our planet, pelicans are the heaviest.
  24. Less than half of all chicks survive to adulthood. The rest fall prey to predators.
  25. Pelicans are found on all continents except Antarctica.
  26. In captivity, these birds can live up to 20 years.
  27. The image of a pelican can be seen on Albanian coin in denomination of one Albanian lek.
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