Why has the pelican a pouch attached to her bill?

Because it answers the purpose of a crop, and is used by the bird to contain food both for herself and her young, which, when hatched, are fed with the fishes that have been for some time macerated in the pouch; this, when distended, will contain ten quarts. Great numbers of pelicans are killed for their pouches, which are converted by the native Americans into purses, etc. When carefully prepared, the membrane is as soft as silk, and sometimes is embroidered by the Spanish ladies for work-bags, etc. It is used in Egypt by the sailors, whilst attached to the two under chaps, for holding* or baling water.

Why was the pelican formerly thought to feed her young with her blood?

Because, in disgorging the food from the pouch for the young, the bird presses the bottom of the sack upon her breast, and thus the contents are discharged*

* See the Vignette.