What does the pelican use its pouch for?
Pelican are large, queer-looking water birds. A pelican is easily recognized by the big pouch that hangs from the underside of its long beak.
The pelican does not store food in this pouch, as many people believe. It uses the pouch as a scoop to catch fish, which are then quickly swallowed.
Pelicans known as “brown pelicans” are often seen along seashores. To catch a fish, the brown pelican dives straight down into the water with open bill into a school of fish, scoops one up in his pouch, and swallows it.
While pelicans cannot dive under the water. They hunt their fish while swimming in shallow water, using the big pouches under their long beaks as dragnets to capture small fish.
A pelican feeds its young by passing partly digested food from its stomach back up into the pouch. The baby pelican sticks its head into the parent’s pouch and pecks-up the food. – Dick Rogers