Stripes – The Pelican


My Rob human came to the Green House all excited saying there are pelicans at the salt pan.

I wondered what was so special about a pelican that put humans in a tizz.

“A peli-can do what?” I asked sulkily.

“Come here, Stripes, let me tell you about pelicans”, Rob said.

“Pelicans are amazing birds. They are found near rivers, estuaries and lakes. These waterways are their habitat. They are swimming birds, so they have webbed feet – all the better to swim with.

Unfortunately people often spoil these nice habitats with water pollution, or draining the wet areas or putting out fishing nets where the pelicans feed. Pelicans have to catch fish for lunch and then they get caught in the fishing nets and could get killed.”

I was glad I didn’t have to dive for my pellets, although my humans are often slow to fill my bowl and I have to remind them – loudly.

“Did you know…“ my Anina human started to add.

“Oh no! Here we go again with the ‘did you know’”, I thought.

“Did you know, Stripes” she continued, even though I rolled my eyes rudely. “Pelicans are among the biggest of all birds. They are more than twice your size. A pelican can probably eat you for breakfast.”

“Oh no,” I countered, “A bird has no teeth, so how can it eat me?” I was getting rather worried.

“Oh yes, a pelican has the biggest bill of all birds and it has a huge pouch under the bill for catching lots of fish. You could easily fit into that pouch and the pelican could swallow you whole. That’s what a peli-can do.”

I quickly changed the subject. “If a pelican is so big and heavy, why doesn’t it sink?” I asked.

“That’s a good question, Stripes,” Rob said. “A pelican has spaces in its bones filled with air that help it to swim without sinking. They can also fly very high by using their big wings to catch rising hot air currents.”


I was impressed but didn’t want it to show. So I quickly walked away and pretended to catch a fly.

If only cats could fly ….

This story can be printed as a an A5 pamphlet by downloading the pdf file below, printing it back to back on A4 paper (landscape orientation) and then folding in half. -> THE PELICAN A5

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