• BROWN PELICANS IN FLORIDA The Pelicans nest in colonies, and the young feed from the parents' throats. Range: Gulf coast of U. S. and southward. Habitat Group in The American Museum of Natural History
    BROWN PELICANS IN FLORIDA The Pelicans nest in colonies, and the young feed from the parents' throats. Range: Gulf coast of U. S. and southward. Habitat Group in The American Museum of Natural History
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n pelican large long-winged warm-water seabird having a large bill with a distensible pouch for fish
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The average capacity of a pelican's pouch is 12 quarts.
    • Pelican (Old Chem) A retort or still having a curved tube or tubes leading back from the head to the body for continuous condensation and redistillation.
    • Pelican (Zoöl) Any large webfooted bird of the genus Pelecanus, of which about a dozen species are known. They have an enormous bill, to the lower edge of which is attached a pouch in which captured fishes are temporarily stored.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The word "alcatraz" is Spanish for "pelican".
    • n pelican A large piscivorous natatorial bird of the family Pelecanidæ and genus Pelecanus, having an enormously distensible gular pouch. Pelicans of some species are found in nearly all temperate and tropical countries. Deriving their whole sustenance from the water, they frequent lakes, rivers, and sea-coasts, and generally secure their prey by wading or swimming and scooping it into their pouches; though some, as the brown pelican, swoop down on the wing, like gannets. They breed usually on the ground near water, laying from one to three eggs, white-colored, equal-ended, and of rough texture. They are gregarious, and gather in immense companies at their breeding-resorts. The birds are about as large as swans, and their short legs constrain them to an awkward waddling gait, but their flight is easy, firm, and protracted. The sexes are colored alike. The plumage is in most cases white, variously tinted with yellow and rosy hues. The American white pelican, P.trachyrhynchus, is five feet long and eight or nine feet in extent of wings; the general plumage is white, with black primaries, and yellow lengthened plumes on the back of the head and on the breast. The bill is surmounted in the breeding-season by a curious horny crest which is deciduous. (See cut at rough-billed.) The brown pelican, P. fuscus, is of dark and varied colors, and rather smaller than the white species. The fable that the pelican wounds its own breast and feeds its young with the blood that flows from it has no foundation in fact so far as this bird is concerned. The young are fed on fish brought to the nest in the pouch, and doubtless often macerated to some extent in the gullet—a habit common to the other birds of the same order, as cormorants, gannets, etc. The myth probably arose in connection with the fabulous phenix, and may have been borne out by some facts which have been observed in the case of the flamingo (Phælnicopterus),possibly furthermore acquiring some plausibility, in its application to the pelican, from a redtint that is observable on the beak or plumage of some species. The pelican has from early times been considered as all emblem of charity. See also cut under totipalmate.
    • n pelican A chemical glass vessel or alembic with a tubulated capital, from which two opposite and crooked beaks pass out and enter again at the belly of the cucurbit. It is designed for continued distillation and cohobation, the volatile parts of the substance distilling, rising into the capital, and returning through the beaks into the cucurbit.
    • n pelican A six-pounder culverin.
    • n pelican A kind of shot or shell.
    • n pelican In dental surg., an instrument for extracting teeth, curved at the end like the beak of a pelican.
    • n pelican A hook, somewhat in the shape of a pelican's bill, so arranged that it can be easily slipped by taking a ring or shackle from the point of the hook.
    • n pelican In heraldry, a bird with talons and beak like a bird of prey, but always represented with the wings indorsed and as bending her neck in the attitude of wounding her breast with her beak.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A pelican consumes about 33 and 1/3 percent of its body weight in a single meal.
    • n Pelican pel′i-kan a large water-fowl, having an enormous distensible gular pouch: an alembic with tubulated head from which two opposite and crooked beaks extend and enter again the body of the vessel—used for continuous distillation: a dentist's instrument:
    • n Pelican pel′i-kan (her.) a pelican above her nest, with wings indorsed, wounding her breast with her beak in order to feed her young with her blood.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. pélican, L. pelicanus, pelecanus, Gr. peleka`n peleka^s pele`kanos, the woodpecker, and also a water bird of the pelican kind, fr. peleka^n to hew with an ax, fr. pe`lekys an ax, akin to Skr. paraçu,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Low L. pelicanus—Gr. pelikanpelekus, an axe.


In literature:

But in the action between the "Argus" and the "Pelican," the Americans were simply outfought.
"The Naval History of the United States" by Willis J. Abbot
The Pelican buildings are just over the hill here, and we may as well go up at once: it will be quitting-time by the time we get there.
"The Boys of Crawford's Basin" by Sidford F. Hamp
Thus the tongue of a pelican is a tiny flap all but lost to view in its great bill.
"The Log of the Sun" by William Beebe
Pelican Smith was one of this sort.
"Shawn of Skarrow" by James Tandy Ellis
The manager of Elderslie also gave us permission to fence in a piece of ground at the Pelican Waterhole for a vegetable garden.
"Reminiscences of Queensland" by William Henry Corfield
Storks and pelicans flew after him in feathery bands, to accompany him to the boundaries of the garden.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
Pelicans, guano from, 297.
"Manures and the principles of manuring" by Charles Morton Aikman
Snipe and various species of wild fowl are found in the marshes, and pelicans and storks abound along the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2" by Various
Upon this were hundreds of wild geese, plover, and pelicans.
"The Red True Story Book" by Various
On the 20th they saw two pelicans, and they were sure the land must be near.
"Christopher Columbus and His Monument Columbia" by Various

In poetry:

Ever at the far side of the current
The fishes hurl and swim,
For pelicans and great birds
Watch and go fishing
On the bank-side.
"Misadventure" by Edward Powys Mathers
But the waters of hope
Have flower and fled,
And never from blue hills breast,
Came back, by the sun and sand devoured
Where the Pelican builds its nest.
"Where The Pelican Builds" by Mary Hannay Foott
The breakers are foaming and dashing along,
The pelican sits on the wave;
The sea-gull and curlew are mingling their song,
With the scream of the winds as they rave.
"Cape Romain" by William Crafts
The Pelican relieves her tender brood,
When stung by some sly serpent, with her blood:
So the Lamb's blood relief to all imparts,
Whom sin has wounded with her deadly darts.
"Advice, To Search For The Lord Jesus Christ" by Rees Prichard
Christ is the Pelican, so kindly good,
That heals his young-ones with his flowing blood,
And brings them back to light and life again,
When they were by the wily serpent slain.
"Christ Is All In All" by Rees Prichard
Christ is the Pelican, so kindly good,
That heals his brethren with his heart's dear blood,
And brings them safely back to life again,
When they, thro' sin, had been by Satan slain.
"Christ Is All In All" by Rees Prichard

In news:

Oil near pelican breeding grounds in Louisiana marshes, May 2010.
It's a one billion dollar industry in the Pelican State, and it provides a popular ingredient in local cuisine.
In the end , "Pelicans" really is the best team name for New Orleans' NBA franchise.
The haunting at Blue Pelican Inn .
Kayaking toward a pod of pelicans on Cooper Creek, Australia.
Philharmonic Center for the Arts, 5833 Pelican Bay Boulevard.
Rojas, Myrtle Beach Pelicans come up short against Lynchburg Hillcats.
Pelicans starter Randol Rojas and Hillcats starter Aaron Northcraft were both battling for their 10th win of the season on Sunday.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans get past Lynchburg Hillcats.
The Pelicans, who are coming off a 1-6 slide in their final road trip, were hoping to turn things around on Saturday before the Carolina League Playoffs begin.
Blacksher Hall, built in 1900 on Government Street, graces the cover of the newly published "The Majesty of Mobile," with 175 photographs with text about historic structures in Mobile (photo by Pat Caldwell, courtesy Pelican Publishing).
The Wildlife Resources Commission sent pelicans found on Topsail Beach to the University of Georgia for autopsies to determine their cause of death.
Guided tour of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Executive Editor Nicole Crews OW Lee Anacara Company Gensun Pelican Reef Skyline Design.
Pelicans hit 40 win milestone .

In science:

The computations were performed on the Supermike cluster, the Pelican cluster, the Nemeaux cluster at LSU, and IBM P5 clusters of Louisiana Optical Network Initiative.
Disk-Planet Interaction Simulations: (I) Baroclinic Generation of Vortensity and Non-Axisymmetric Rossby-Wave-Instability
This result indicates that favourable conditions to carry out searches for BD jets can be found in regions with young, low mass stars embedded within an H II region, such as M 42 (Bally & Reipurth 2001), the Pelican Nebula (Bally & Reipurth 2003) or the IC 1396N H II region (Reipurth et al. 2003).
Looking for outflows from brown dwarfs
HH 555 is a bipolar jet emerging from the tip of an elephant trunk entering the Pelican Nebula from the adjacent molecular cloud.
Numerical Simulations of HH 555
In the present paper, we simulate a peculiar Herbig Haro ob ject known as HH 555 located in the Pelican Nebula (IC4050), discovered by Bally & Reipurth (2003) (see Figure 1).
Numerical Simulations of HH 555
Bally & Reipurth (2003) give the following description of the elephant trunk and HH 555: the elephant trunk is a 4′ long filament of neutral gas, which penetrates into the Pelican It shows a dense condensation at its tip, with a ∼ 20′′ diameter.
Numerical Simulations of HH 555