Difference Between Flamingos Pelicans and Cranes

Flamingos and Pelicans both are water birds having beaks in different size and shape. The flamingo’s distinctive black beak designed for water filter and Pelicans beak with throat pouch are designed for fishing.

Cranes, Storks and Heron are long legged freshwater and coastal birds but differ in flying and their necks. Other families, such as the storks, ibises, spoonbills and cranes are very resemble to herons families.



Flamingos birds are from the family of Phoenicopteridae and very social birds, live in colonies. Flamingos are a type of wading bird known for their unique way of food they eat, filter-feed on brine shrimp and blue green algae.

Family: Phoenicopteridae
Type: Wader Birds
Beak: Filter Beak



Pelicans are large water birds with a long beak and a large throat pouch, live in and around inland and coastal waters. There are eight living pelican species, Spot billed pelican breed only in peninsular India.

Family: Pelecanidae
Type: Water Birds
Beak: Beak with Throat Pouch



Cranes are long necked and long legged birds and known to migrate over long distances. The cranes are very large birds and Sarus crane is listed as world’s tallest flying bird.

Cranes Bird Species Found in India

There are 4 species of Crane birds found in India, few of them make the longest distance migrations such as Siberian crane, Demoiselle Crane and Black Necked Crane.

Sarus Crane – Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Demoiselle Crane – Khichan Village Rajasthan
Black Necked Crane – Ladakh Tso Kar Lake



Storks are long necked wading birds from Ciconiidae family, live in different habitats. Many species of Storks are migratory and eat frogs, fish, reptiles and even small mammals. Painted stork, Asian openbill, Black necked stork and Greater adjutant are the resident species of the Indian Subcontinent.

Asian Openbill found mainly in the Indian subcontinent.
White Stork spend most of the winter in India.
Eurasian Spoonbill migrate to India during winter
Ibis birds breeds in the Indian Subcontinent.
Grey Heron and Purple Heron are wading bird from family Ardeidae.

– Herons


Herons birds from the family Ardeidae are long legged freshwater birds, are mostly associated with wetlands and water. Their family members species includes egrets, bitterns and their diet includes a wide variety of aquatic animals.

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