Pelicans coloring pages are black and white images of waterfowl. Introduce the children to the pelican family and their physical features. The large beak for fishing and the body of the bird can be colored with felt-tip pens, gouache or pencils. You can download and print a picture of a pelican you like for coloring.
Pelican: rare and very beautiful bird
The amazing bird pelican always attracts the eye both in zoos and on the pages of encyclopedias. How do pelicans live and why do they need such a huge beak? Let’s find out!
In appearance, distinguishing a pelican from another bird will not be difficult. First of all, it has gigantic dimensions: the body length of a pelican can reach 150-180 cm, and its weight – from 7 to 14 kg!
The main distinguishing feature of the pelican is a huge yellow or dirty pink beak, and a leather bag located under the beak, which acts simultaneously as a fishing hook and a storehouse. At the end of the pelican beak, you can see a small, but very sharp hook: it is he who helps the bird to capture nimble and slippery prey.
The pelican’s beak is located on a small head with a long neck, and a funny feathery crest can be seen on the back of the head. Pelican’s wings are similar to those of a seagull: they are just as large, often with black plumage at the ends. Since pelicans are water birds, they have membranes on their paws.
Females are smaller in size than males, and their feathers are dull in color. Young males often have gray feathers, and sometimes even brown.
The pelican prefers tropical and temperate zones for life, therefore it lives in almost all parts of the world, with the exception of Antarctica. These birds predominantly choose the shallow sea coast, shallow water bodies (both fresh and salty) or river estuaries.
Most often, pelicans can be seen in southern Europe, in the Aral and Caspian seas and in Africa.
Habits and lifestyle
The pelican is not only a water bird, but also a migratory one. With the arrival of cold weather, they fly away to central Africa or India.
Pelicans prefer to nest in large groups in the far shallow waters, which are densely overgrown with reeds and grass. Birds love places where there are many sandy and rocky islets.
Pelicans feed mainly on fish, but they can diversify their menu with tadpoles, crayfish and even toads! In the salty sea waters, pelicans feast on shrimp and crabs. True, if there is very little food, pelicans are able to eat even small birds for lunch, for example, seagulls or ducks.
By the way, the process of hunting and eating food by pelicans is very interesting. First, the bird sharply plunges its beak into the water, captures the prey together with the water, and then, emerging, releases excess water outside. It turns out that the pelican’s beak looks like a large stretchable filter!
What about character? Pelicans are friendly, peaceful and quiet birds. You can hear their specific roar only during nesting. There is no special hierarchy in the pelican flock, so their families can be called friendly and safe. Fights for territories are not typical for pelican flocks. The leader, as a rule, is determined during the wintering flight – he leads the whole flock and sets the pace of the flight, although in the process one pelican may well change the other.
It is interesting that pelicans create families for only one season, before the birth of babies. In this case, the nest itself is built by the female, and the male pelican obtains the necessary materials: twigs, dry grass, reeds, leaves, feathers.
In the wild, the pelican also has enemies. Little pelicans are predominantly hunted by birds of prey and foxes, while adult birds can be hunted by hyenas and crocodiles.
Interesting facts about the pelican
A pelican is not just a huge bird with a specific appearance, but in general a rather unusual creature, about which we learned a lot of curious.
- For many peoples, the pelican has been a sacred bird since ancient times – a sign of love, care, self-sacrifice. It is not for nothing that the image of a pelican has become a symbol of the A. I. Herzen Pedagogical University, the Teacher of the Year competition and the emblem of donation in some European countries!
- Almost all birds have nostril openings above the beak. And the pelican doesn’t have them! To breathe, the bird has to use its beak directly.
- The plumage of pelicans is light and rare, so the feathers get wet quickly in the water. But birds have come up with a way to fix this: with their powerful beak, they squeeze excess moisture out of their feathers, can you imagine?
- The volume of a pelican’s beak is so huge that at a time it can hold up to 3-4 kilograms of fish and up to 12 liters of water!
- Despite their awkwardness on land, in water and in flight, pelicans are real kings! And all thanks to special inflatable air bags. They are located behind the wings, in the throat and chest area. This improves the aerodynamics of birds and their balancing on the water.
- Pelicans have an interesting feature: when hunting for fish, they turn the prey with their head towards themselves, tossing it in the air, and only then swallow. This is because the fish is streamlined. If the pelican begins to eat it from the tail, the fish can simply get stuck in its throat.
Unfortunately, due to vigorous human activity – the release of chemicals and debris into the water, the number of pelicans is rapidly declining. They are listed in the Red Book as one of the most vulnerable bird species.
Pelican coloring page invites you to get acquainted with an amazing bird with an unusual appearance and characteristic features. In total, no more than eight species are known on the planet. They all have similar distinctive features. The main feature is a huge beak with a capacious leather bag for catching and carrying the fish they feed on. These birds are excellent divers and swimmers. While on land, they become clumsy and vulnerable, but once they take off, spread their wings with a span of up to 3 meters, and the picture changes. Migratory inhabitants of reservoirs live in large flocks in the southern regions of Europe and Africa. The pelican is considered one of the most ancient creatures on Earth, in the coloring you can carefully study it and give it an original color.