The Horrifying Spectacle of Pelicans’ Fish-Gulping Feats – Nature and Life

Pelicans can survive 10-30 years in the wild. Young birds will eat by dipping their beaks into the mother’s throat pouch to get food.

The pelican is a large bird and is also the bird with the largest beak with a beak length that can reach nearly 46cm. Below this beak is a throat pouch that can hold up to more than 11 liters of water. This bag is used mainly for eating but it is also used as a cooling “device”. On hot days, the pelican will sway this bag to cool down.


The pelican can be easily identified with its large body, short webbed legs and wide wingspan up to 3m long. Webbed feet are used for swimming and diving. The pelican will identify potential prey from above, then rush to the location of the prey to catch it with great accuracy.


Pelicans mainly eat fish. It also eats turtles, tadpoles and crustaceans. The hungry pelicans even attack and eat seagulls.


The pelican will shovel a lot of water when it catches fish. Before swallowing the fish, it will tilt its head to the front to drain the excess water. In a day, a pelican can eat up to 1.8kg of fish.


Some pelicans mate year round while others mate only seasonally. Males use different “techniques” to attract females during mating season. Some males have colorful plumage while others are able to change the color of their throat pouches, beaks and necks to light colors when courting females. Females usually lay 1-3 eggs.