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The Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is a massive member of the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe to India and China in swamps and shallow lakes. This huge bird is the largest of the pelicans and one of the largest living bird species. It measures 160 to 183 cm (5 ft 3 in to 6 ft 0 in) in length, 9–15 kg (20–33 lb) in weight and 290–351 cm (9 ft 6 in–11 ft 6 in) in wingspan. Its mean weight of around 11.5 kg (25 lb) makes it the world’s heaviest flying bird species, although the largest individuals among male bustards and swans may be heavier than the largest individual Dalmatian Pelican.
The Dalmatian Pelican is found in lakes, rivers, deltas and estuaries. Compared to the Great White Pelican, the Dalmatian is not as tied to lowland areas and will nest in suitable wetlands at many elevations. It is less opportunistic in breeding habitat selection than the Great White, usually returning to a traditional breeding site year after year unless it becomes completely unsuitable. During the winter, Dalmatian Pelicans usually stay on ice-free lakes in Europe or jheels (seasonal lakes) in India. They also visit, typically during winter, inshore areas along sheletered coasts for feeding.
Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Lake Kerkini, Greece, Europe
Nikon D200, Nikkor 80-400 mm at 400 mm, 1/1000 sec at f/ 5.6, ISO 200
© Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos Photography. All Rights Reserved.
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