Information about: Pelican

Index | Pelican

Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.

Pelican. The popular name applied to a family of birds, characterized by possessing a long, straight, broad, and much-depressed bill, the upper mandible flat and terminating in a very strong hook, and the lower mandible formed by two long branches, flexible and united at the tip. From these branches is suspended a pouch of naked skin, of considerable elasticity, and capable of holding a large number of fish. In this pouch these birds stowaway the results of their fishing excursions, after having satisfied the immediate cravings of their stomachs. The pelicans are large, web-footed, ungainly-looking birds from four to six feet long, with an expanse of wing of about eight feet. In their habits they are gregarious, and frequent the banks of rivers and lakes or the seacoast.