The Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is the biggest of all the pelican species.
Adult birds can have a wingspan of over 11ft making them one of the worlds largest flying birds. At 11–15 kg in weight it’s also the world’s heaviest flying bird, although large swans and male bustards can sometimes exceed the pelican in weight.
Male pelicans are considerably larger than the females, but both exhibit the bright red pouches during the breeding season when their harsh vocalisations become much more obvious. After mating has concluded these distinctive pouches fade to a much more subdued yellow.
The breeding range of the Dalmatian pelican extends from southeastern Europe to Russia, India and China favouring shallow lakes and swamps.
During the 20th century the pelican population underwent a dramatic worldwide decline due to habitat loss, disturbance and poaching. Thankfully though conservation efforts have been very successful in core areas of their range and the creation of artificial nesting rafts and platforms along with the removal of power lines has seen a distinct upturn in breeding population.
You can find more about the Dalmatian Pelican here.Read more