do pelicans eat other birds

TaxonomyMain article:

The French scholar Constantine Samuel Rafinesque introduced the family Pelecanidae (as Pelicanea) in 1815. [10][11] The Pelecaniformes, an order with a complex taxonomic history, is named after pelicans. Previously included in the order, tropicalbirds, darters, cormorants, gannets, boobies, and frigatebirds have since been reclassified. The tropicbirds have been placed into their own order, Phaethontiformes, while the remaining birds have been placed into the Suliformes. Herons, ibises, spoonbills, hamerkops, and shoebills have now been moved into the Pelecaniformes order to take their place. [12] Although there is some disagreement regarding the precise relationships between the three lineages, molecular evidence indicates that the shoebill and hamerkop form a sister group to the pelicans. [14].

The genus Eopelecanus, which refers to the earliest known record of pelicans, is a right tibiotarsus from the late Eocene (Priabonian) Birket Qarun Formation in the Wadi El Hitan, Egypt, that is strikingly similar to those of modern species. [1].

Taxonomy and systematics

The word pelekan (???????) originates from the Ancient Greek word pelekys (???????), which means “axe.” [7] The word was used to refer to both woodpeckers and pelicans in classical times. [8].

Carl Linnaeus provided the first formal description of the genus Pelecanus in his seminal 1758 Systema Naturae 10th edition. He listed the defining features as having a bare face, linear nostrils, a straight bill that is hooked at the tip, and fully webbed feet. Along with pelicans, this early definition also included frigatebirds, cormorants, and sulids. [9].

Culling and disturbance

Humans have attacked pelicans because they are thought to be in competition with them for fish, even though there is little overlap in their diet and the fish that humans catch. [5] Beginning in the 1880s, wetland drainage projects and water management plans damaged the feeding and nesting grounds of American white pelicans, who were also shot and clubbed. [5] Even in the twenty-first century, official efforts to lower pelican numbers through systematic harassment and culling were prompted by concerns that the recreational cutthroat trout fishery in southeast Idaho, US, was being threatened by an increase in the number of American white pelicans. [95].

The 19th century saw the eradication of great white pelicans from Dyer Island, in the Western Cape region of South Africa, due to concerns that their eating of the eggs and chicks of seabirds that produced guano would jeopardize the livelihood of the guano collectors. [78] More recently, the conservation of vulnerable seabird populations—particularly crowned cormorants, Cape cormorants, and bank cormorants—has been impacted by this kind of predation at South African seabird colonies. This has given rise to recommendations that the number of pelicans at vulnerable colonies be regulated. [78].

In addition to intentional, targeted persecution and habitat destruction, pelicans face disturbance at their breeding colonies from birdwatchers, photographers, and other inquisitive visitors. Just because of humans, birds may unintentionally move or destroy their eggs, expose their hatchlings to predators and unfavorable weather, or even completely abandon their colonies. [96][97][98].


Will a pelican eat a bird?

While most pelicans eat fish exclusively, they can be opportunistic lizards, frogs, crabs and lobsters. Pelicans have even been observed eating smaller birds, sometimes scooping up water in order to drown them before swallowing.

Can a pelican eat a dog?

Pelicans eat fish only. Of course there are the ones that get garbage out of the ocean thanks to us but they do not eat dogs cats or other things like that.

Are pelicans predatory birds?

A raptor generally has a strong build, a hooked beak, hooked talons, and powerful wings. Meanwhile, pelicans and seagulls don’t really have any of those traits. They are built more for endurance than power, and have long beaks and webbed feet. In short, they’re just seabirds that happen to be predatory.