Pink pelican that lives in the shallow swamps in Africa is one of the largest flying birds in the world. It has the abilities of multiple birds, such as long flights and swimming. Its unique characteristic is the “gulag pouch” inside its beak. Its legs are short and strong, with fully webbed toes that allow it to propel itself in water and to take off from the surface of the water. They are powerful fliers and often travel in flocks in a V-formation to reduce drag for the group. Pink pelicans live, breed, migrate, feed, and fly in formation in large colonies. Fishing is usually over by 8-9 am, and they spend the remainder of the day on small islands or sandbars resting, preening, and bathing. They bathe by ducking their head and body into the water while flapping their wings. When hot, they will spread their wings or gape to cool down. Large flocks may congregate at traditional roosts, these places also being used after fishing tips as daytime resting sites. They sometimes perch in trees, but usually they roost on the ground.
This bird’s yellow gulag pouch has capacity for 13 liters of liquids or up to 4 kg of fish.
This is a gregarious species, and even the chicks form into flocks for safety in numbers.
A Great White pelican does not dive to catch its prey, instead, it dips its head in unison with other birds to scoop fish into its huge throat pouch.
In the breeding season, these birds have a pinkish color, with usually yellow on the breast.