Pelican Silhouette PNG Transparent Images

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Uploaded on on Jul 16, 2021


Pelicans are a genus of big aquatic birds belonging to the Pelecanidae family. They have a long beak and a big neck pouch that they utilize to capture food and drain water from scooped-up contents before swallowing. Except for the brown and Peruvian pelicans, they have mostly light plumage. Before the breeding season, all pelicans’ beak, pouches, and naked face skin become brilliantly colored. The eight extant pelican species have a patchy worldwide range, spanning from the tropics to the temperate zone latitudinally, however they are missing from interior South America, polar areas, and the open ocean.

Pelicans are now known to be most closely related to the shoebill and hamerkop, and are classified in the order Pelecaniformes. They were once considered to be related to frigatebirds, cormorants, tropicbirds, gannets, and boobies. Ibises, spoonbills, herons, and bitterns have all been grouped together. Pelicans have been found in Oligocene strata in France dating back at least 30 million years, including the remnants of a beak that looks remarkably similar to those of current species. They are considered to have evolved in the Old World and moved to the Americas, as evidenced by the division of the eight species into Old World and New World lineages within the genus.

Pelicans may be found in inland and coastal waterways, where they mostly eat on fish, which they catch at or near the water’s surface. They are sociable birds that fly in groups, cooperate in hunting, and breed in colonies. Four white-plumed species prefer to build their nests on the ground, whereas four brown or grey-plumed species prefer to build their nests in trees.


Pelicans and people have had a tumultuous connection in the past. Because of their apparent rivalry with commercial and recreational fishing, the birds have been hunted. Their numbers have declined as a result of habitat degradation, disturbance, and pollution, and three species are threatened with extinction. They’ve also had a lengthy history of cultural importance in mythology, Christian imagery, and heraldic symbolism.

Carl Linnaeus’ historic 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae was the first to properly define the genus Pelecanus. He characterized a straight bill with a hook at the tip, linear nostrils, a naked face, and completely webbed feet as distinctive features. Frigatebirds, cormorants, and sulids, as well as pelicans, were included in this early definition. The name is taken from the Ancient Greek word pelekan (v), which is derived from pelekys (), which means “axe.” The term was used to describe both the pelican and the woodpecker in ancient times.

In 1815, the French polymath Constantine Samuel Rafinesque created the Pelecanidae family (as Pelicanea). The Pelecaniformes, or pelicans, are a biological order with a complicated history. All conventional members of the order, such as tropicbirds, darters, cormorants, gannets, boobies, and frigatebirds, have been reclassified: tropicbirds into their own order, Phaethontiformes, and the rest into the Suliformes.

Herons, ibises, spoonbills, the hamerkop, and the shoebill have all been moved into the Pelecaniformes in their place. Molecular evidence shows that the shoebill and the hamerkop are related to the pelicans, however the exact connection between the three lineages is unknown.

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