Do Pelicans Eat Capybaras? – [Answered]

Can Pelicans Eat Capybaras

Do Pelicans Eat Capybaras – Why Do Pelicans Try To Eat Capybaras?

While you marvel at the exceptional attitude of the capybara, some animals don’t care. All they see is a rodent they can eat. The capybara doesn’t share a lot in common with the pelican except, say, the love of water. While the rodents enjoy a nice swim, the rivers are the pelican’s hunting ground.

Pelicans are carnivorous, and their main diet is fish, but they have been known to eat other animals such as worms and crustaceans and even other birds. They have an insatiable appetite and the guts to eat animals several times bigger than their mouth paths. Lol…

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And they do that!

Pelicans are not picky waters; if they can swallow it, it is on the menu. Since pelicans and capybaras share the rivers, their paths would undoubtedly cross. Are capybaras also on the pelican’s menu or can pelicans eat capybaras?

The answer is no. A Pelican might attempt to eat a capybara but the truth is that this can’t happen.

Are Pelicans Aggressive To Capybaras?

Pelicans, as I said, are ferocious eaters, and they would try to eat everything that crosses their path. While they are not particularly aggressive, they are not docile either.

They can be rowdy when scrambling for food, but they are calm when grooming, picking their feathers and groping the rivers.

Pelicans are not aggressive to other animals except they want to rob them of fish or food. Capybaras are strictly vegetarian and would never eat fish; there is no reason for a Pelican to be aggressive to the capybara.

A recent video has circulated the internet of a hilarious scene in a Japanese zoo. The zoo had, for whatever reason, mixed its pelicans with several capybara families. The capybara is babies relaxing next to their mother.

A Pelican suddenly pounces on the nearest young capybara and tries to swallow it. Even at such tender age, the capybara was too big for the bird’s pouch. It slipped off its grip and took a few hops forward.

Doggedly, the bird went after it again and tried to scoop it into its mouth. Again, its beak couldn’t grip the rodent, nor can’t it cover it all. It slipped again, and the capybaras continued doing what it was.

After several attempts, the bird concedes defeat and let the rodent be.

It was hilarious to think the pelican, for specific thought it could swallow a whole capybara. This underlines their inexhaustible appetite and quest for eating anything available, even if it’s several times larger than them.

Why Do Pelicans Try To Eat Other Animals?

They are carnivores. It is in their genes. They eat other animals for a living.

Pelicans feed mainly on fish. Some species add crayfish or shellfish to their menu. They catch their prey with their beaks, having managed to push them towards shallow waters, using elaborate group fishing techniques.

Pelicans don’t care. As long as its food fits into their mouth, they will try to eat it. The pelican is a social bird whether a strong community instinct marks fishing, travelling, resting or breeding, all of its activities.

A lone pelican is sure to be a lost animal, injured or weakened by disease.

Depending on the occupations and the time of year, the size of the gatherings varies from ten to a few thousand birds. There are two reasons for this social life.

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The first, which is not specific to the species, is to improve safety. Faced with predators, unity is strength. A large and compact group has the edge over isolated birds.

Moreover, on the whole of a colony, there is always a proportion of birds on the alert, ready to point out the slightest danger to their fellows.

The second reason for them being social has to do with the concern to improve fishing conditions by identifying and collectively driving fish. This behaviour often reaches great degrees of expression in the pelican.

But, whatever the reason for their formation, groups of pelicans are never organised according to a pre followed determined hierarchy. There is no dominant bird or dominated.

Each bird is content to integrate into the whole and to occupy a place in it as equal to its neighbours. At most, we can note a pre-eminence of adults over immatures, especially on the fishing grounds.

The best prey goes to older pelicans, who manage to impose themselves thanks to their experience and superior knowledge.

Why Do Pelicans Try To Eat Capybaras?

Like I said before, pelicans are not picky carnivores. While most people are asking why the pelican asks why not. Why can’t they eat capybaras? If fellow carnivores, pumas and jaguars find capybaras delicious, they must be, don’t you think?

Perhaps, there is a word on the carnivores dark web about how juicy sweet capybaras meat was, and dear old I-can-eat-everything bird wants to have a bite.

How Do Capybaras Relate With Other Animals & Humans?

On a more serious note, Pelicans are ferocious eaters; they would try to eat anything as long as it soothes them. So I’ll bet that bird in the viral video was trying his luck to see if capybaras can be eaten.

At 70kg weight and 5 feet in length, pelicans can’t possibly swallow a capybara. If they are blessed with razor-sharp claws and teeth, like some of their carnivorous friends, perhaps they could get the job done.

But the pelican’s beak is not even sharp. It was designed to scoop fish and not tear flesh.

Why Do Pelicans Like Capybaras?

Everyone loves the capybara!

Maybe not everyone but the pelican is not on the list of animals that hate the rodent. While we can say they like them (they are not fish, after all), they also hate them. They do like to be around the rodents, though. Perhaps it is the shared love of water or the fact that the peaceful capybara aura has rubbed off on them too.

Why Do Pelicans Follow Capybaras?

Pelicans follow capybaras because the rodents always follow the water. The birds know where there is water; there is fish. So it’s a three-stepped pathway. Capybara loves water, and in the water, there is fish.

Do Capybaras Eat Pelicans?

No, no, no, no, no.


What would you ask that question? If you truly knew what a capybara was, you would see that they can’t eat a Pelican.

Capybaras are herbivores, picky herbivores, for that matter. They won’t eat leaves they don’t like or eat worms. They are precise about their food, so specific it’s almost robotic as if they are running on a peculiar genetic code.

And they are.

There is nothing in common between the diets of the two animals. While capybaras are herbivorous, pelicans are not.

Pelicans love feeding on fish, which it usually catches in shallow water, close to the surface.

Its prefers social fish goes to gregarious fish moving in schools and therefore easier to capture. But they never refuse any isolated prey either.

The pelican can swallow large fish, such as carp, weighing 1.85 kg. The daily amount for an adult is estimated at 900-1200 g. This quantity, however, is higher when the adult is young.

That’s a lot of fish. If capybaras were fish, they might be attractive to the pelicans.

The only thing common to their diets is the sheer amount of food they consume daily. They are not in each other’s direct food chain.

Why Do Capybaras Not Hurt Pelicans?

A Capybara doesn’t hurt any animal. It’s docile and harmless. The only thing it cab pose a threat to is the vegetation they religiously consume.

They might have sharp teeth, but it is more for defence than offence. They never use it unless they need to.

So as long as the pelican is not hurting them in any way, capybaras are fantastic and would not attack (or defend as the case may be. Capybara seldom attack; they are docile animals, remember?)

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The bird can peck or climb on them and play with their fur; capybaras don’t care. That’s the capy doing what capy does best.

Can Pelican and Capybaras Live Together?

Absolutely. Capybara can live with Pelicans without any hassle. The reasons are straightforward.

Different Diets

They don’t share the same food, is they won’t be in direct competition for food. Capy’s don’t eat fish, and pelican doesn’t eat grass.


Both animals love water and can’t live without it. Their reasons are different, capybaras swim, and pelicans hunt.

Friendly Neighbours

They are not dangerous to each other. Pelicans, other than fooling around, can’t seem possible to swallow a capybara, and the bird is not on the rodents menu either.

They are two different animals, harmless to each other. Some zoos house them together, or at least they have access to the pool area at the same time. Now house large cats and the capybara and observe what would happen.

Can A Pelican Be Pets?

Yes, but I don’t think that is a good idea. First, pelicans are huge (have you seen the size of those things!) and catering for such big birds will be a handful.

Secondly, pelicans are social animals. Pulling them out of the flock won’t help their well being. They can get depressed or sick if they lose their flock and become house pets.

Of course, almost every animal can be trained to do this or that, and you can prepare your pet pelican to be an excellent house pet. But the best is to let the bird be.

Aside from that, it is illegal to house some pets in some cities without a licence; getting a Pelican as a pet is something you need to think about before embarking on seriously.

Are Pelicans Pests To Fishermen?

Pelicans are adorable to tourists but a menace to fishermen. Why? With the long wingspan, their spotlessly white feathers and weird beaks, they are wondrous to tourists who may have never seen them so close.

Pelicans are not afraid of humans and would come close if you have treats to offer. Hold a fish and pelicans would swim you. This makes their presence a common occurrence at beaches and anywhere fishes gather.

Speaking of schools of fish, fishermen don’t like pelicans. The reason is apparent; there is a conflict of interest. The fisherman and the pelican want the same thing, the fish.

After all the baiting and waiting and pulling nets to the boats, which fisherman would want all his effort wasted by a wild bird?

So they chase them away from the catch. You need not encourage them by giving them scraps. Pelican moves in flocks, encouraging one and the others to come too.

There is a case in Senegal, though, in the region of M’Bour, south of Dakar, when men and pelicans struck a mutualist relationship.

A large colony of pelicans arrived a few years ago; it has installed its nests in the trees of a village located inland, in the middle of the Serer country.

When returning from the shore where they went fishing, large birds often drop some of the many fish they carry in their beaks to feed their young.

Fishermen then hasten to pick them up and sell them in the neighbouring villages. The men, too far from the sea to go fishing themselves, are thus supplied with fresh fish thanks to the pelicans.

In exchange for these involuntary “gifts”, the pelicans receive absolute protection from the villagers who watch over their nests.

So what have we learned in this article? Let’s recap.

Capybaras and pelicans are ferocious eaters, but they feed on different things. Capybaras are herbivores, while pelicans eat fish.

Where Is It Legal To Own A Capybara Pet In US? – [Answered]

Pelicans try to eat capybaras, but they are too big to swallow

Getting a Pelican as a pet is expensive, stressful and probably detrimental to the bird itself.

Pelicans are adorable to tourists but a pain in the butt for fishermen.

Do Pelicans Eat Capybaras – Conclusion

Capybaras and pelicans are amazing animals. They have things in common like being social animals and loving to be around water.

Capybaras, like their general attitude, are not unfazed to be around pelicans as their share the same riverbank in one big nature and circle of life.



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