Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dalmatian Pelican

Pelecanus crispus
Dalmatian Pelicans are one of the largest Pelican species, and are found in two populations that migrate between . The first is located in Eastern Europe, and the second can be found in Russian and South and Central Asia. They have white plumage and large yellow bills outside the breeding season, but when that time of year rolls around their feathers take on a silvery-white sheen and the pouches turn reddish-orange. They also sport a bushy crest of feathers on the back of their heads and necks.

Adult Dalmation Pelicans reach sexual maturity at 3-4 years of age. They form monogamous pair bonds that will return to the same nesting site year after year. Nests are often built among floating vegetation, which protects the eggs and hatchlings from terrestrial predators.

Dalmatian Pelicans are excellent fishermen, and use their large bill pouches to scoop up and carry their prey. In some areas, like the Prespa Lakes in Greece, the Pelicans work with Comorants to catch fish. The Comorants are divers, and when they plunge down into the water the fish move up to the surface, making it easier for the Pelicans to snatch them up.

Dalmatian Pelicans are vulnerable due to loss of wetlands, hunting, pesticides, and loss of food. They are currently listed on CITES Appendix I.

IUCN Status :  Vulnerable
Location : Europe and Central Asia
Size : Length up to 75in (190cm), Wingspan 10ft (3m)
Classification : Phylum  : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Pelecaniformes
Family : Pelecanidae -- Genus : Pelecanus -- Species : P. crispus


  1. It is actually more attractive than I think of pelicans as being. They always have seemed to be such big clumsy birds.

  2. I confess that I picked this particular Pelican cause I liked its weird head feathers :)

  3. Hopefully the Dalmatian Pelican will come back to Dalmatia (south part of Croatia), where it came from, but unfortunately disapeared 100 years ago. It's up to the CRO government to do something about it!

  4. I always love to see species being reintroduced to their original stomping grounds. Hopefully that will happen for these Pelicans someday :)


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