Almost everyone heard about this amazing bird. It belongs to the family pelikanova and has several types. Pelicans are common in tropical and temperate zones on almost every continent.
In our country there are two species of these birds: pink and curly Pelican.
Pelican: appearance, habitat
This is a very large migratory bird, its length can reach two meters, and a wingspan up to three meters.
They are the largest among waterfowl, belonging to the order pelecaniformes. Key habitat areas are located on the coast of seas and oceans.
They settle in the trees, building a rather large nest, using for their construction the reeds, of small branches and dry leaves.
All natural species of pelicans, a few different between them, and it depends on the environment. Mostly they have white feathers.
These birds are different from other some features:
- They have a very long beak, which reaches a length of about half a meter, and superior to the head of the bird almost five times.
- In addition, the beak is very wide and roomy, more than one bird didn’t have one.
- The main features of a Pelican belongs leathery bag, which is located at the base of the beak, holds about four kilograms of food and plenty of water.
- Unlike other birds, the Pelican does not have the nasal opening, he is breathing through the beak, uttering vague sounds. Basically this bird is silent.
The main diet of this food for waterfowl, fish, which it catches in shallow water as it does not know how to dive. Despite the fact that on land, it looks very awkward, Pelican rests perfectly on the surface of the water, as it has under the skin bubble layer.
Lifestyle pelicans and their food
As mentioned above, they mainly live on the banks of large bodies of water, feeding on fish, crabs, and jellyfish. The fish is mainly mined in shallow waters, forcing it there with the help of wings, which they flap along the surface of the water.
Some species prefer to forage together with other birds, seagulls, cormorants, as well as in the community of other pelicans. Leather bag, where they put fish, can be used to collect twigs during the construction of the nest.
Despite their strange appearance, this is a very peaceful bird. They prefer to live in packs, which can be up to several thousand individuals. As such the leader in the pack is not available, and, living in a big happy pack, they assure their security. Vigilant observers, misleading of the flock of approaching danger, and she’s ready to scare or get rid of culprit peace.
The pelicans are rarely conflicts among themselves, which end fights beaks. Despite the fact that the bird is a bit clumsy on land, in the air, it feels great using when flying the air currents. On long flights especially difficult to have the leader that sets the pace of the flight, so they constantly follow each other.
To output offspring pairs are formed only on one season, mostly in a clutch is two or three eggs, which the female incubates for about six weeks.
Building nests is engaged in the female Pelican males are zagotavlivayut material for construction, is that the pelicans build a common nest on a few pairs.
Mortality among the young is very high, as they emerge from the eggs, blind and naked, besides, it still depends on weather conditions, attack by predators, famine and other causes.
Chicks are fed by both parents digested food, which they regurgitate from the stomach into the beak. After two weeks the juveniles begin to fledge, but for two long months, until they rise on the wing, the parents will carefully care for them and nurse. The life expectancy of these birds depends on many factors, but basically it lasts about twenty years.
Varieties of pelicans
- Pink Pelican is a relatively small bird. The length of the wings the male is about seventy inches, the female slightly smaller. The plumage of both is a pale pink shade, the young gray-brown. Shade adult birds they get to three years of life, when they become Mature individuals. They feed on fish, dipping their long necks into the water.
- The Dalmatian Pelican is considerably larger than its predecessor, and the wingspan he reaches two meters. It got its name from the swirling feathers, which are on the head and top of neck. Its habitat is quite widespread, in contrast to the pink Pelican.
- The brown Pelican is a coastal bird, its population is relatively small, it settles on the shores of the oceans. The colors of its plumage is brown, but the head is painted in bright color, the plumage of neck red-brown. Their nests they make on the ground or low-growing trees. They can settle with the condors and gannets on deserted Islands. Unlike other species, they can dive from a height, capturing the water in the bag where Pelican bird fish folds, searching for her.
There are other varieties of pelicans: Australian, Californian and others.
Gradually the population of this beautiful bird is declining, and this is due to the use of pesticides that negatively impact on populations of these birds. Some species listed in the Red book.
In some countries they are trying to breed in captivity, but as with all gregarious birds, they multiply bad, but almost live up to twenty years.
Pelican can be found in tales and legends, his image is used in some countries in heraldry, mythology, and his mention in some religions.