The Fisherman Bird – Pelican

pelican  catching fish

Image Credit: Pixabay User nemo,via CC

“My beak is a bowl, but it is also a fishnet,

I will catch as many as fish as I get.”

Pelican is indeed a very funny looking fisherman :)

Flying pelican

Image Credit: Flickr User mikebaird, via CC

Ever seen this bird royally soaring over the oceans? It is amazing. Ever observed a pelican walking? If there is any bird that can walk clumsier than a duck, it is a pelican. They have webbed feet like the ducks.

Just like you, they like to travel with their friends. Their flocks usually fly in a line. They form colonies and live together. Guess where do they usually gather the most? Islands. They build their homes in the sand and dirt with roofs of sticks. Both the parents take care of the baby pelicans. The male and female pelican both incubate the eggs, much like a penguin does.

This bird is almost as tall as you, and its beak is as long as your arm.  A very distinguishing feature of this bird is a long skin sack or a throat pouch hanging from its beak ( bill) that gives this bird a comical appearance. Great at catching fish, it uses this pouch as a fishnet. They also use the throat pouch for breathing. When they are thirsty, they collect rainwater in it for drinking. On an average, a pelican lives for about 10-30 years.

Remember your fishing trip with dad where you sit idle to catch a fish while dad catches up on his book. Does the pelican also catch fish like that?

Nope!

Pelican eating fish

Image Credit: Flickr User ali_arsh, via CC

This bird is not lazy :) It flies along the water flapping its strong wings. As soon as it sees a school of fish it dives into the water and takes a mouth full of fish in its enormous beak. It does not store the fish in the beak, lets the water drip out and swallows the fish. Other than fishes, they also eat tadpoles, turtles and minnows. Happy meal!

Baby pelican eating fish fro mother's pouch

Image Credit: Flickr User amanderson, via CC

What about the kids meal? Baby pelicans are unable to catch fish, so they grab a bite from their mother’s meal. They stick their head in their mother’s mouth to eat the fish that is in her pouch.

Now all this meal talk reminds me of a riddle to ask you.

Why did the pelican refuse to pay for his meal at the restaurant?
Because his bill was too big. Ha!

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