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pelican-pigeon.jpgSomeone video-recorded a pelican consuming a pigeon.

Kees Moeliker, our European Bureau Chief and the curator of birds at the Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam, examined the video, did some research, and explains that:

According to the Handbook of the Birds of the World, the seven species of pelicans known to the world feed almost exclusively on fish. It is only the Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) that is know to take an occasional bird, like a gull or a duck. The bird in this video is the American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) living in an urban park, obviously tame and it may have been fed a (dead) pigeon ? like feeding bread to ducks ? as the actual prey capture is not shown on the video. The live pigeons in this video do come dangerously close to the pelicans, so I am inclined to conclude that this is ‘The first videoed case of predation on a pigeon (Columba livia) by a tame American white pelican’.

(Thanks to investigator Jessica Girard for bringing the video to our attention.)

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