Dalmatian Pelican

Pelecanus crispus

The Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is a member of the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe to India and China in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a crude heap of vegetation.

This is the largest of the pelicans, averaging 170–190 cm (67-75 inches) in length, 11–15 kg (24-33 lbs) in weight and just over 3 m (10 ft) in wingspan. With a mean weight of 11.5 kg (25 lb), it is the world's heaviest flying bird species on average although large male bustards and swans can exceed the pelican in maximum weight. It differs from the Great White Pelican in that it has curly nape feathers, grey legs and greyish-white (rather than pure white) plumage. It has a red lower mandible in the breeding season. Immatures are grey and lack the pink facial patch of immature 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.

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