Whats the deal with pelicans swallowing other birds whole?

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shoupart

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Yeah! I just saw that for the first time yesterday. Poor pigeon. I was wondering the same thing myself- do pelicans eat birds on a regular basis?
 
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DavidPT40

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I did some reading, and it appears that when pelicans are stressed or starving, they become oppurtunistic feeders. Some pelicans have even been observed eating roadkill.

I bet the ponds that these pelicans (in the videos) are being kept in are pretty devoid of fish. So they've turned to eating the next most available thing.
 

knotical

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From: http://www.amonline.net.au/birds/factsheets/pelican.htm#diet
“Pelicans mainly eat fish, but they are opportunistic feeders and eat a variety of aquatic animals including crustaceans, tadpoles and turtles. They readily accept 'handouts' from humans, and a number of unusual items have been recorded in their diet. During periods of starvation, pelicans have been reported capturing and eating seagulls and ducklings. The gulls are held under water and drowned before being eaten headfirst. Pelicans will also rob other birds of their prey.”

And from: http://www.zoo.org.au/education/factsheets/bir-pelican.pdf
“It has even been known to make a meal of a small dog.”

i.e. what you said, at least for the Australian Pelican.
 
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