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Dalmatian Pelican

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. 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. It is the world's heaviest flying species. It has curly nape feathers, grey legs and greyish-white plumage.
During the breeding season it's lower mandible turns red . Their main diet is fish.  The Dalmatian Pelican has declined greatly through habitat loss and persecution . As of 1994, there are around 1,000 breeding pairs in Europe, most of them in Ukraine, Russia, Greece (Lake Mikri Prespa), Romania, Bulgaria and Albania (Karavasta Lagoon). Mongolian birds winter along the east coast of China, including Hong Kong.

dalmatian pelican
- click image to enter gallery -
In the early nineties (90's) there were over twenty Dalmatian Pelicans wintering, between December and March, at Mai Po Nature Reserve and its vicinity of Deep Bay annually. The number droped to fifteen (15) in spring 2005. From then onward and until 2010 only one or at most two were seen here in Hong Kong. Sadly the Mongolian population continues to decline and because of possible recent climate and/or habitat change the Dalmatian Pelican does not come to Hong Kong any more ...

This Special Feature Gallery is created to show off the beauty of these Dalmatian Pelicansand bring back memory as well as excitement we all have. The images presented here were captured on 14 March 2005 when I was fortunate enough to have had a close encounter with them at Deep Bay; on a typically warm, humid and foggy spring morning as I recall. Departure occurred the day after ...


Warning: All photos contained in this site are Copyright © KK Hui. All rights reserved.  Unauthorized use of these images is strictly prohibited.