The Cornell Lab Bird Academy Discussion Groups Community Forum Group hunting behaviour in ducks and pelicans

    • Magpie
      Chirps: 10
      I am very new to this group and do not live in the USA but I have a question about bird behaviour that I have observed both in Australia with pelicans a few years ago and in Europe with ducks early this year. In both cases there were groups of around 15-20 individuals on a river. They were swimming all in the same direction then suddenly all started to fish then they lifted out of the water as a group to drop back around 20 meters / yards to alight and repeat this sequence. At first I thought it was just a coincidence but it repeated for maybe 20 minutes with the pelicans and for about 10 minutes with the ducks. I couldn't find anything about group fishing on the internet but maybe I am not good at finding such things. Does anyone know anything about this? Pack hunting seemed to be the only explanation of what I was observing. It was very synchronised and the birds seemed to be driving fish forwards, then all grabbing them when they were trapped together, before taking off and repeating the operation.
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