The Lives of Dalmatian Pelicans

The Lives of Dalmatian Pelicans

The dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus Crispus) is the world’s largest freshwater bird and the biggest member of the pelican family. They can be found worldwide, but for those of us living in Greece, Lake Kerkini is the best place to observe these stunning birds. They’re easily identified by their long beaks and distinctive pattern on their feathers.

So take your time and enjoy the scenery while diving into the fascinating lives of these fantastic creatures!

They’re designed to live in huge flocks, and their friendly natures make them excellent dalmatian pelican photography subjects – all you need is a telephoto lens!

The dalmatian pelicans at Lake Kerkini are famous for their friendly nature.

A pelican fly over the lake
Dalmatian pelican is landing in the lake

Where do Dalmatian pelicans live?

Dalmatian pelicans live in many different areas of the world. But the very best place to find dalmatian pelicans is at Lake Kerkini in Greece. They live in lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. Dalmatian pelicans are often found in 10 to 20 dalmatian pelicans or even more.

How long do Dalmatian pelicans live?

The dalmatian pelican is the longest living bird in the world.

Dalmatian pelicans live long lives of up to 40 years. A dalmatian pelican can spend up to 13 years raising young dalmatian pelicans for the next generation.

Dalmatian pelicans size and appearance

The dalmatian pelican is a large fish-eating bird. The dalmatian pelican is the only species in the genus Pelecanus and family Pelecanidae with predominantly white plumage. They have a relatively heavy body, a large head, long neck, wide tail, and bill when it comes to appearance. In terms of size, they are pretty long, reaching up to 2 meters in length from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail feathers. Their wingspan is around 2.3 meters, small compared to their overall size.

Dalmatian Pelican, It’s the largest pelican species in the world.

Why are dalmatian pelicans so significant?

Dalmatian Pelicans are significant because they are endangered, meaning that there are not many dalmatian pelicans in the world. They are very peaceful birds, making them perfect to live near us humans.

Dalmatian Pelicans use their long beaks to spearfish, and it is horrifying for young dalmatian pelicans if their parents get attacked by other predators since then, they have to take care of themselves.

Although dalmatian pelicans construct their nests high in the trees, chicks may fall out of the nest due to inclement weather or when parents lose their balance and fly away to avoid other predators.

group of dalmatian pelicans
Dalmatian pelicans in Lake Kerkini

What dalmatian pelican eat?

The dalmatian pelicans live in areas where there is a good supply of fish to eat and, they will also live near human coastlines. Dalmatian pelicans typically build stick nests either high on trees, manufactured poles, or the ground. They will often steal nesting material from other dalmatian pelicans to make a bigger nest, increasing their reproduction chances.

This dalmatian pelican is feeding her chicks that are not yet old enough to dive into the water themselves and catch food.

Dalmatian pelicans are carnivores, which means they will only eat meat. Their diet typically consists of fish, their favorite food being carp. It also includes gastropods and crabs for dalmatian pelicans that live inland.

Dalmatian pelican chicks eat regurgitated food from their parents until they are of age to feed themselves.

Dalmatian Pelican Chicks

Dalmatian pelicans are very caring birds when it comes to their young. The dalmatian pelican chicks will be fed by their parents with a regurgitated meal. Once they grow up and become more independent, the dalmatian pelicans will teach them how to fish by bringing small fish in their beaks and dropping them in front of their dalmatian pelican chicks so they can catch it themselves.

Other interesting facts about Dalmatian Pelicans

Dalmatian pelicans have a very large wingspan that helps them stay afloat in the water when diving for their prey.

Their wings grow throughout their lives and are longer than their bodies! Not only that, but dalmatian pelicans also have pouches in their beaks which they use to catch fish.

How long can a Dalmatian Pelican Fly?

A dalmatian pelican can fly upwards of 7,000 kilometers when migrating, and an average dalmatian pelican will flap its wings up to 300 times a minute.

a group of pelicans in lake kerkini
Group of Pelicans in Lake Kerkini

Dalmatian Pelicans and climate change

Climate change does not directly affect the dalmatian pelicans, but it is known to harm them. Their population has drastically decreased in the last 50 years. The dalmatian pelican’s breeding habitats are being affected by the rising water levels of the Mediterranean Sea. Without successfully breeding, dalmatian pelicans are unable to survive.

Dalmatian pelicans live in colonies throughout the year. These colonies can be found on islands or coasts of freshwater lakes or rivers. The dalmatian pelican’s preferred habitats are at least 100 kilometers (62 miles) away from the land below sea level. The dalmatian pelican can be found in countries such as Portugal, France, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, and of course Greece. Although dalmatian pelicans prefer to live a life of solitude throughout the year, they will come together to breed during mating season.

Pelicans in Lake Kerkini

Lake Kerkini is a narrow freshwater lake located in northern Greece. It’s a national park that is home to many dalmatian pelicans.

The dalmatian pelican is one of the most beautiful birds in Lake Kerkini. They are so photogenic with their long beaks, webbed feet, and large wingspan. Their feathers seem iridescent, which helps them stay protected from UV rays after being soaked in water.

Dalmatian Pelican Photography in Lake Kerkini

For a long while, I’ve wanted to photograph the dalmatian pelicans on Lake Kerkini. I had planned to shoot them from a boat on the lake. It would be an incredible experience.

Dalmatian pelicans are amazing animals.

The process has many difficulties. It was freezing in the middle of the winter. It was difficult to spot dalmatian pelicans in the begging. For a moment, I was scared that I couldn’t take the images I wanted so much.

But thankfully, we had a weather window for about an hour with beautiful light and amazing sky.

This allowed me to create beautiful photos with reflections, Amazing compositions with the pelicans and the landscape, close-ups, and artistic abstracts.

The most challenging part was managing my camera settings and the boat movement. Very fast shutter speeds were necessary to freeze the action and make those moments last forever.

It was the first time I had worked with dalmatian pelicans in their natural environment, and it was a thrill to capture these photographs.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did and appreciate the beauty of the dalmatian pelicans and mother nature.


I hope you enjoy the dalmatian pelican photos and appreciate their beauty. I want to thank them for teaching me about patience, persistence, and focus – all necessary skills in photography and life. The experience was an amazing one that taught me many things about myself and my ability to create beautiful images under challenging conditions. Well worth it! So if you ever have the opportunity to photograph these creatures up close or from afar, don’t miss out on this rare privilege. You’ll be glad you did because they are genuinely beautiful animals with fascinating lives!

Leave a comment below and share this blog post with your friends. If you want a lovely high-res print or wall art of these beautiful animals, be sure to check out my image gallery.

Share your love