Description Pelicans are a genus of large water birds that make up the family Pelecanidae. Long thought to be related to frigatebirds, cormorants, tropicbirds, and gannets and boobies, pelicans instead are now known to be most closely related to the shoebill and hamerkop, and are placed in the order Pelecaniformes. Ibises, spoonbills, herons, and the desolate bitterns have been classified in the same order. Pelicans frequent inland and coastal waters, where they feed principally on fish, catching them at or near the water surface. They are gregarious birds, travelling in flocks, hunting cooperatively, and breeding colonially. Many nations have established their tourism sector around their natural wildlife. This wild bird was captured in Yucatan, Mexico.