A murder of crows. A gaggle of geese. But what about a group of pelicans? Is it a pod? A pouch? A scoop, a squadron, or maybe a fleet?
All those answers are correct, I know this because I asked Siri after seeing a few pelicans together at Anclote River Park the other day. When pelicans fish together it’s called a fleet, so that’s what I thought my little group was called. But when I read on I was amazed to see that pelicans have been observed fishing in a group of 30 or more. They arrange themselves into a continuous crescent shape and then swim forward in unison, driving the fish into shallow water. And in perfect synchronization they all dip their bills into the water at the same exact time, scooping up fish. And then they do it again, and again. It must be a sight to see. This behavior was observed in Wisconsin, at a place called the Crossroads of Big Creek. Maybe I’ll get there one day. In the meantime the pelicans I observed weren’t fishing as much as they were scavenging at the boat ramp where I believe the fishermen toss them scraps. Maybe they are retired from organized fishing, and are now living the good life in sunny Florida. It was a perfect day for it.