Every continent except Antarctica
Along seacoasts or near inland lakes
Wingspan 6 to 11 feet, depending on species
Up to 3 eggs in a nest; chicks hatch a day apart from each other.
A pelican’s pouch can hold 3 times as much as its stomach.
Pouched predatorAn animal that hunts and kills other animals for its food.



A pelican has many adaptations that help it catch the fish it eats. Air pockets in its bones help the birdAn animal that has wings and is covered with feathers. Birds have a backbone, are warm-blooded, produce young from eggs, and walk on their two legs. Most can fly. float. Webbed feetThe feet of some birds, such as ducks, some mammals, such as otters, or some reptiles, such as turtles, where the toes are connected near the tips by a thin membrane of skin. This helps these animals paddle or swim through water. are perfect for paddling along the surface of the water. And that big pouch of skin under a pelican’s beakThe hard mouthpart of a bird and some other animals. The beak can also be called a bill. is super for scooping up a meal! A pelican may eat up to 4 pounds of fish each day!



Different types of pelicans catch fish in different ways. Brown pelicans dive headfirst into the ocean to snatch a fish seen from 70 feet in the air! American white pelicans work in small groups to herdA group of animals that travels and feeds together. a school of fish into shallow water. Pink-backed pelicans fish in a spot with lots of plants for hiding. Then they paddle slowly up to fish, then lunge to grab them.



Pouches come in handy during the breeding season, too. Male and female pelicans use their pouch to carry twigs, grass, and other material to where they want to build their nest. After the nest is ready, both parents take turns sitting on the eggs, and later feeding the chicks.