Pelicans are a group of large water birds. They are characterized by a long beak and large throat pouch used in catching and draining water from, their prey. Pelicans frequent inland and coastal waters where they feed principally on fish.
They have a very long, terminally hooked, bills characterized by the attachment of a huge gular pouch. They have a long neck and short stout legs with large, fully webbed, feet. Although they appear bulky they are relatively light because of air pockets in the skeleton and beneath the skin so that they float high in the water. The tail is short and square, with 20 to 24 retrices. The wings are long and broad, suitably shaped for soaring and gliding flight, and have the unusually large number of 30 to 35 secondary flight feathers. They are among the heaviest flying birds. Pelicans swim well with their strong legs and their webbed feet. Unable to vocalize, adult pelicans rely on visual displays and behavior to communicate, particularly using their wings and bills.