The great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) also known as the eastern white pelican, rosy pelican or white pelican is a bird in the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia and Africa, in swamps and shallow lakes. The great white pelican is a huge bird : ot measures 140 to 180 cm in length with a 28.9 to 47.1 cm enormous pink and yellow bill, and a dull pale-yellow gular pouch. The wingspan measures 226 to 360 cm, the latter measurement being the highest among extant flying animals outside of the great albatross. The adult male measures about 175 cm in length; it weighs from 9 to 15 kg. It has a bill measuring 34.7 to 47.1 cm. The female measures about 148 cm in length, and is considerably less bulky, weighing 5.4 to 9 kg, and has a bill that measures 28.9 to 40.0 cm in length.
The great white pelican is highly sociable and often forms large flocks. It is well adapted for aquatic life. The short strong legs and webbed feet propel it in water and aid a rather awkward takeoff from the water surface. In flight, it is an elegant soaring bird, with the head held close to and aligned with the body. Its flight consists of a few slow wingbeats followed by a glide. Once aloft, the long-winged pelicans are powerful fliers, however, and often travel in spectacular linear, circular, or V-formation groups.
The great white pelican mainly eats fish. It needs from 0.9 to 1.4 kg of fish every day. Fish targeted are usually fairly large ones, in the 500–600 g weight range, and are taken based on regional abundance. The pelican's pouch serves simply as a scoop. As the pelican pushes its bill underwater, the lower bill bows out, creating a large pouch which fills with water and fish. As it lifts its head, the pouch contracts, forcing out the water but retaining the fish. A group of 6 to 8 great white pelicans gather in a horseshoe formation in water to feed together. They dip their bills in unison, creating a circle of open pouches, ready to trap every fish in the area. Most feeding is cooperative and done in groups, especially in shallow waters where fish schools can be corralled easily, though they may also forage alone as well.
Source : Wikipedia