Communication and Perception
Spot-billed pelicans are relatively quiet when mature, only calling rarely. As nestlings, however, they have been recorded uttering grunting contact calls, barking, squeaking, and bleating like sheep, making the breeding grounds a much noisier place. In the presence of a perceived threat, however, both young and adults will become silent. Loud noises and large wing movements may be used as scare tactics once a threat makes itself visable. During mating these pelicans use a number of different social signals, both vocal and visual, including bowing, head swaying, bill clapping, head turning, and various moaning, grunting, and high-pitched yipping noises. Mates also greet each other with neck stretching and a duet of groans. Other aspects of communication in spot-billed pelicans have not been studied.
Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic
Other Communication Modes: duets