Jun 22, 2012

Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus)


Did you know?

That the Dalmatian Pelican, whose beaks reaches 40 cm or more in length, are the largest species of pelicans in the world?

The Dalmatian Pelican is the largest of the pelicans, with 160-180 cm from the tip of beak to the tip of the tail, and a wingspan of 310-345 cm. It has a wide and heavy body, long neck and large head with a huge and wide beak. The feathers on the head and neck are soft and curly. The Dalmatian Pelican’s tail is rounded with 22-24 feathers. The coloration of its plumage is usually white-gray, tinged with dirty blue below and a straw-colored patch of feathers. The gular pouch is yellow, which turns to orange or blood red during playback. The bare skin of the face is yellow, and turns purple during playback. The legs are dark gray and the iris is yellow.

The Pelecanus crispus are excellent swimmers and good flyers. They are less gregarious than the great white pelicans. Generally, they fish individually or in small groups, catching mainly carp (Cyprinus carpio), perch (Perca fluviatilis), the Gardi (Scardinius erythrophthalmus), as well as pike (Esox lucius) and eel (Anguilla anguilla). The communal fishing with cormorants may occur. The Pelecanus crispus’ nest are often in colonies located on an island or in remote parts. They mix colonies with great white pelicans sometimes. The nest is a stick, cane grass or structure placed on the ground.

The female lays 1-6 eggs weighing between 120 and 195g, which are incubated for 30-34 days. The chicks are cared for by both parents. They are able to fly they are about 12 weeks old.

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