The art of pelican seduction and general community integration 

Kumana National Park

Fun Facts

Before a Spot-billed pelican can become a family bird, they need to prove they’re good dancers as a marital prerequisite! This courtship solo dance involves males to puff up their pouch and use swinging motions and head-bobbing, followed by a hip-hop finale of tilting their head backwards! However, once they seal the deal, they prefer privacy for any verbal domestic disputes – the equivalent of “we’ll talk about it when we get home”. After being silent in public, they hiss, grunt or snap their bills back at their nest!

Did you know?

Spot-billed pelicans were once used by fishermen in parts of eastern Bengal as decoys, as it was believed an oily secretion from this bird attracted certain fish! However, in Sri Lanka, these pelicans are the ones doing most of the fishing, usually as a flock. They thrive on being part of a diverse feathered community, as usually several nests can be seen in a single tree together with other storks, herons, egrets and cormorants.


The Spot-billed pelican is a common breeding resident in tanks, lagoons and marshlands of the low-country dry zone. Birds originally released from the National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka in Dehiwala have established breeding colonies in and around Colombo’s marshy areas and wet zones.


Amazing experience - great company values

We had a wonderful stay at yala camp - great accommodation / food / safari. The staff were all outstanding - all full of passion for their role to make sure we had an unforgettable experience and absolutely committed to providing an ethical product. This company provides a perfect safari experience - no plastics / sustainable / local produce / knowledgeable committed staff. An honour to be a guest and support them."

J K wrote, Traveled as a couple
December 2019

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