What Is a Group of Pelicans Called?

Have you ever wondered what a group of pelicans is called? These magnificent birds with their large wingspans and distinctive beaks are known for their graceful flight and impressive diving abilities. Pelicans are also highly social creatures that often gather in groups for various reasons. In this article, we will explore the concept of groups, delve into the unique behavior of pelicans, and uncover the fascinating facts about these remarkable creatures.

What is a Group?

Before we dive into the specifics of pelican groups, let’s first understand what a group actually is. In the animal kingdom, a group refers to a collection of individuals of the same species that interact and often exhibit coordinated behavior. These social structures can serve different purposes, including protection, hunting, mating, and raising offspring.

Pelicans and Their Groups

Pelicans, with their gregarious nature, are no strangers to forming groups. These majestic birds can be found in various parts of the world, from coastal regions to inland lakes and rivers. They are known for their large colonies and their ability to work together in harmony.

Common Group Names

Many animals have specific names for their groups. For instance, a group of lions is called a pride, while a group of dolphins is called a pod. These names add to the allure and mystique of the animal kingdom. But what about pelicans?

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Group Names for Pelicans

The collective noun used for a group of pelicans is “scoop.” This term perfectly captures the distinctive feeding behavior of pelicans. When hunting for fish, pelicans often form a semicircular formation in the water and work together to corral their prey. They then scoop up the fish in their pouches, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for onlookers.

Fascinating Pelican Behavior

Pelicans are not only known for their unique group name but also for their captivating behavior within these groups. Let’s take a closer look at some of their remarkable traits.

The Importance of Group Behavior

Group behavior plays a vital role in the lives of pelicans. By forming groups, pelicans can increase their chances of survival and success. They rely on each other for protection, navigation, and finding food sources. Working together in a coordinated manner enhances their efficiency and allows them to reap the benefits of communal living.

Benefits of Group Living

Living in a group provides pelicans with several advantages. One of the key benefits is collective defense. When a predator approaches, pelicans can unite and repel the threat more effectively. Additionally, groups enable pelicans to share knowledge about optimal foraging locations, improving their hunting success rate. By sharing information, they can adapt to changing environments more efficiently and secure their food supply.

Formation of Pelican Groups

Pelican groups often form during the breeding season, which varies depending on the species and geographic location. Breeding colonies can consist of hundreds or even thousands of birds. These colonies serve as breeding grounds where pelicans engage in courtship displays, build nests, and raise their young. The formation of these groups is driven by the need for suitable nesting sites and the advantage of safety in numbers.

Communication within Pelican Groups

Communication is vital for maintaining cohesion within pelican groups. These birds utilize various vocalizations, body postures, and visual displays to convey information to one another. They communicate about potential threats, food availability, and breeding behaviors. By effectively communicating, pelicans can coordinate their movements and actions, ensuring the smooth functioning of the group.

Interesting Facts about Pelican Groups

  1. Pelican groups often exhibit synchronized flight patterns, creating a mesmerizing spectacle in the sky. Their coordinated movements showcase the power of collective behavior.
  2. When pelicans hunt in groups, they demonstrate a fascinating cooperative strategy. They encircle schools of fish, driving them towards shallow waters where it becomes easier to catch their prey.
  3. Some pelican species exhibit a unique behavior known as “plunge-diving.” They soar high above the water, spot their target fish, and then plunge straight down, tucking their wings and extending their pouch to scoop up the fish.
  4. Pelican groups are highly social and engage in communal activities such as preening each other’s feathers, which helps to strengthen social bonds within the group.
  5. The size of pelican groups can vary significantly. Some species form small groups of a few individuals, while others gather in massive colonies that can include thousands of birds.


How many pelicans are usually in a scoop?

The size of a pelican scoop can vary, ranging from a few individuals to large colonies consisting of thousands of birds.

Do pelicans always hunt in groups?

While pelicans are known for their cooperative hunting strategies, they can also hunt individually if the conditions permit.

How do pelicans communicate within their groups?

Pelicans use a combination of vocalizations, body postures, and visual displays to communicate important information within their groups.


In conclusion, a group of pelicans is called a “scoop,” highlighting their distinctive feeding behavior. These remarkable birds demonstrate fascinating group behavior and rely on their collective efforts for survival and success. Living in groups provides them with numerous benefits, including increased defense against predators and improved foraging efficiency. Pelicans communicate and coordinate their actions within these groups, showcasing the power of collective behavior in the animal kingdom.

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