What Does Pelican Meat Taste like? Eating Pelican Meat – Nutritional Value & Health Benefits:

Pelicans are one of the most peculiar and well-known birds in the world. However, their meat is the one topic that is the least discussed. This is because it is as peculiar as they are.

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But nonetheless, it is a known fact that pelican meat is consumable, and can be consumed by humans without the fear of any side effects. It can not affect a person’s health in any negative way.

Do people eat pelicans?

People do eat pelicans. People who are curious about its taste love to try its meat. However, eating pelicans does not equate to liking the flavor of their meat. 

In fact, the majority of the people who have tried pelican meat do not recommend it to other people, and almost all of them claim to never want to eat it again.

What does pelican meat taste like?

Since pelicans’ diet is known to be largely made up of fish, their meat also has a fishy flavor to it. However, it is much blander in taste and oilier as compared to the meat of the fish itself.

The flavor of pelican meat has often been described as dark and greasy. Many people who have tried the meat complain that it often tastes like rotten fish.

Is pelican meat good to eat?

There are no harmful side effects related to the consumption of pelican meat. Moreover, it has also been said that a pelican’s meat can offer a good amount of protein. 

However, the amount of protein largely depends on the diet of that particular pelican itself. There is no guarantee that every serving of pelican meat will carry the same amount of protein.

Apart from protein, there are no known benefits to eating a pelican’s meat. There is very little research available on the nutritional value of pelican meat.

Are pelicans a protected species?

White pelicans are not on the verge of extinction, their numbers have been declining over the years. This is the reason that they are placed under protection by several countries all over the world.

Few subspecies of pelicans, like the Spot-Billed pelican, are considered ‘Near Threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

Why don’t we eat pelicans generally in many countries?

Apart from the fact that pelicans are protected by several countries around the world, the reason why pelicans are not generally famous for their meat is because of their rough texture and their strong, bland taste of it.

Is it allowed to hunt pelicans?

Whether hunting pelicans is allowed or not depends on a country’s rules and regulations.

However, in the majority of countries, hunting pelicans is considered a criminal offense. 

This is because their population is already steadily declining over the years, and that too, in most countries.

Regulations regarding hunting and consumption of pelicans in different countries:

1. Can you eat pelican in Australia?

Australian pelicans are not considered to be endangered by the IUCN. In fact, they come under the category of ‘Stable’. 

However, this does not mean that they aren’t in danger of being hunted by people.

This is why the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in Australia has declared five years of imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 for any attacks on pelicans.

It is safe to say that eating pelicans in Australia would not be allowed.

2. Can you eat pelican in America?

In the United States of America, the American White pelicans are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) which makes it illegal to hunt them down for any reason. 

However, in some states, the licensed killing of pelicans during the breeding season is allowed. 

Thus, there might be a chance to find some pelican meat in a few states of America. However, because it is one of the least preferred bird meats, it would be quite difficult to find it.

3. Can you eat pelican in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to shoot the majority of wild birds with pelicans being one of them.

Therefore, it is safe to consider that pelican meat would not be available in the UK.

4. Can you eat pelican in India?

In India, Spot-billed pelicans are listed in Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

This makes hunting and poaching of pelicans for any reason a criminal offense in India.

Moreover, pelican meat is not even mildly popular in India. It is safe to consider that one can’t eat pelicans in India.

How is pelican meat different from other bird meat?

Pelican meat is considered different from other bird meats for the following reasons:

1. There are no processed chemicals involved.

Even farm-raised bird meat has some sort of chemicals involved in its processing.

However, because pelicans are not farm-raised and are not exposed to antibiotics of any kind, their meat is devoid of any harmful chemicals.

This is one of the most distinguishing features of pelican meat as pelicans are usually hunted by people who are either curious about their taste or have no other option but to eat them.

2. Pelican meat is much leaner than other bird meats.

It is a known fact that pelican meat is much leaner in comparison with other bird meats. This is because the flesh of the pelican itself is much thinner than other birds.

Which variety of pelican is widely eaten?

Among all the subspecies of pelicans, there is no one subspecies whose meat is preferred over others.

This is because, regardless of their varieties, the basic composition of the body remains more or less the same in all pelicans.

Health benefits and nutritional value of pelican meat:

There are only 2 health benefits and nutritional values related to pelican meat. They are:

  1. Presence of protein 

While protein is a part of pelican meat, the amount of it highly depends on the eating habits of that particular pelican.

  1. Absence of antibiotics

There are no antibiotics involved in the raising of pelican meat, and hence, it is safe to be consumed.

Advantages and disadvantages of eating pelican meat:

The advantages and disadvantages of eating pelican meat can be summed up in the following table:

The only advantage of consuming pelican meat is that it can help satisfy the hunger of a starving person and the curiosity of someone who wants to eat their meat.

If the pelican is well nourished, it can further help the consumer in gaining that nourishment through their meat.
The only disadvantage of consuming pelican meat is that it leads to a further decline in the number of existing pelicans.

This can further lead to them being endangered and then extinct.

Can you eat pelican eggs?

Just like how pelicans are protected in the majority of countries, their eggs also fall under the same protection. Hence, it would be difficult to acquire pelican eggs in this case.

Other than that, just like pelicans, their eggs are also edible and bring no harm to whoever eats them.

What do pelican eggs taste like?

There is not enough data to fully explain the taste of pelican eggs. However, it is assumed that it might be slightly more tolerable than pelican meat. 

But even then, they might not taste as great as other widely available eggs. There is also not enough data on the nutritional value of pelican eggs.

How to properly prepare pelican meat safely?

Pelican meat is oily, fishy, and more or less bland in flavor. Hence, the following methods are recommended to improve its taste:

  1. Deep fry the meat to get rid of the bad odor.
  2. Add lots of flour mixed with spices before deep frying the meat.
  3. Baking pelican meat is another recommended way to make the meat taste better.
  4. Use lots of seasonings to make it taste flavorful.

Has pelican meat ever killed someone?

There have been no reports of any kind of deaths after eating pelican meat. However, if you have a health condition that does not allow you to consume greasy meat or if you happen to be allergic to it, you should probably avoid pelican meat.

Can diseases spread through pelican meat?

There are hardly any reports of any avian diseases being transferred because of the consumption of pelican meat. This could also be because the majority of the people do not prefer to eat pelican meat.


Even though pelican meat has some of the least amounts of data as compared to other bird meats, it still attracts the attention of a lot of curious eaters.

However, it has often been advised to not consume pelican meat as it can threaten the existence of their population.

This is the reason why pelicans are so thoughtfully protected by the majority of the countries all over the globe.