Quantcast
Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 9:20 EDT

Dalmatian Pelican

The Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is a member of the pelican family that can be found from southeastern Europe through Asia to China in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a crude heap of vegetation.

This large pelican measures 170 cm length and has a 3 m wingspan. It differs from the White Pelican in that it has curly nape feathers, grey legs and grayish-white (rather than pure white plumage). During the breeding season the lower mandible turns red. Juveniles are grey and lack the pink facial patch of young White Pelicans. The latter also has darker flight feathers.

This pelican migrates short distances. In flight, it is an elegant soaring bird, with the flock moving in synchrony. The neck is then held back like a heron’s.

This pelicans catches fish in its huge bill pouches while swimming at the surface.

Like the White Pelican, this species has declined greatly through habitat loss and persecution. As of 1994, there are around 1,000 breeding pairs in Europe, most of them in Russia, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria.

Dalmatian Pelican