A pelican is any of several very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae.
Along with the darters, cormorants, gannets, boobies, frigatebirds, and tropicbirds, pelicans make up the order Pelecaniformes. Modern pelicans are found on all continents except Antarctica. They occur mostly in warm regions, though breeding ranges reach 45� south (Australian Pelican, P. conspicillatus) and 60� North (American White Pelicans, P. erythrorhynchos, in western Canada). Birds of inland and coastal waters, they are absent from polar regions, the deep ocean, oceanic islands, and inland South America.