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Dalmatian Pelican Breeding Season

An entire colony of this endangered species breeds on Lake Kerkini in winter


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Lake Kerkini is a real treasure for photographers who come here every winter to picture a rare and beautiful Dalmatian Pelican. An adult weights up to 15 kilos which makes it one of the largest of bird species. The wingspan is awe-inspiring 350 cm which rivals even that of great albatross. A colony of these great yet endangered birds stays on Lake Kerkini in winter to breed. As a migrating species, they formerly used to abandon the area for this time of year until local fishermen built them a nesting platform and started feeding them. On such terms, they no longer have any reason to leave.

Dalmatian Pelicans are particularly charming during the breeding season. They obtain a dull yellow bill, silvery-grey plumage, and the most outstanding part is the lower mandible and pouch that turn orange-red during the season. Behaviour also differs from usual—silent birds get rather vocal producing a range of sounds including barks, hisses, and grunts.

The breeding season runs from mid-January to March. A boat ride is a perfect way to get closer to these gorgeous birds and take plenty of exquisite shots.

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