Dalmatian Pelican

BIRD INFO

Dalmatian Pelican

Scientific Name:  Pelecanus srispus

Dalmatian Pelican image

Dalmatian Pelican  Photo by:  --

Bird Type:  Seabirds    368  Views




IDENTITY:

This huge bird is by a slight margin the largest of the pelican species 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, 7.25–15 kg (16.0–33.1 lb) in weight and 245 to 351 cm (8 ft 0 in to 11 ft 6 in) in wingspan. Its median weight is around 11.5 kg (25 lb), which makes it perhaps 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. More recently, six male Dalmatians were found to average 10.4 kg (23 lb) and four females 8.7 kg (19 lb), around the same average weight as the great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) and slightly lighter than mean body masses from other huge birds such as the trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) or Andean condor (Vultur gryphus). A mean estimated body mass for the Dalmatian pelican of 10.9 kg (24 lb) was also published, around the same mass as the aforementioned largest swan and condor. It is either the heaviest or one of the heaviest birds native to Europe, its closest rivals in mass being mute swans (Cygnus olor) and cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus), which both weigh on average around 10 kg (22 lb), followed closely by great white pelicans and the whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus) at just shy of 9.5 kg (21 lb). These same five species are probably rank as the largest flying birds in Asia as well, alongside the Himalayan vulture (Gyps himalayensis). It also appears to have one of the largest wingspans of any living bird, rivaling those of the great albatrosses (Diomedea ssp., in particular the two largest species, the wandering albatross and southern royal albatross) and the great white pelican. These four species are the only modern birds with verified wingspans that range over 350 cm (11 ft 6 in).

BASIC:

  • 160-180 cm

  • 63-71 Inch

  • white

  • orange  (Bird may have more colors)
LOCAL NAMES:
  •    हौसिल
  •    ચોટીલી પેણ
  •    தால்மேசிய கூழைக்கடா
  •    Pélican frisé
HABIT AND HABITED:

The Dalmatian pelican is found in lakes, rivers, deltas and estuaries. The breeding population prefers water bodies surrounded by reed beds and dense vegetation. The birds under migration prefer large lakes for stopover.

FOOD:

These Dalmatian pelican species feed mainly on fish. They also feed on crustaceans and small birds.

VOICE:

INFO:

The Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is the most massive member of the pelican family, and perhaps the world's largest freshwater bird, although rivaled in weight and length by the largest swans. They are elegant soaring birds, with wingspans that rival that of the great albatrosses, and their flocks fly in graceful synchrony. It is a short to medium distance migrant between breeding and overwintering areas. No subspecies are known to exist over its wide range, but based on size differences, a Pleistocene paleosubspecies, P. c. palaeocrispus, has been described from fossils recovered at Binagady, Azerbaijan.

As with other pelicans, the males are larger than the females, and likewise their diet is mainly fish. Their curly nape feathers, grey legs and silvery-white plumage are distinguishing features, and the wings appear solid grey in flight. The adults acquire a drabber plumage in winter, however, when they may be mistaken for great white pelicans. Their harsh vocalizations become more pronounced during the mating season. They breed from southeastern Europe to Russia, India and China in swamps and shallow lakes. They usually return to traditional breeding sites, where they are less social than other pelican species. Their nests are crude heaps of vegetation, which are placed on islands or on dense mats of vegetation.

The species' numbers underwent a dramatic decline during the 20th century, partly due to land use, disturbance and poaching activities. The core population survives in Russia, but in its Mongolian range it is critically endangered. Removal of power lines to prevent collisions or electrocution, and the construction of nesting platforms or rafts have reversed declines locally.

The Dalmatian pelican species is a very large bird, measuring 160 to 180 cm in length and weighing 10,000 to 13,000 grams. The wingspan is 300 to 350 cm. The bill is 350 to 450 mm long. The upper parts and tail are chalky, silvery white in the breeding adult pelican. The bare skin around the eyes in yellow to purple. The wings are greyish white with black tips. It has curly nape feathers and grey legs. The gular pouch is orange-red during the breeding season and yellow during non-breeding season.




DISTRIBUTION MAP:
image
    Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
    Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
    Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
    Winter visitor
    Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
    known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
    Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
    Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
 colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

MORE PHOTOS

BACK TO TOP