The Majestic Dalmatian Pelican: Europe’s Heaviest Flying Bird


Meet the Dalmatian Pelican, one of the most fascinating species of birdlife in Europe and Asia. With its imposing wingspan and hefty build, the Dalmatian Pelican stands out as an avian marvel. This article offers a deep dive into the intriguing world of this magnificent bird, exploring its characteristics, features, and much more. It’s a bird lover’s dream to capture the majestic flight of the Dalmatian Pelican in a bird image. Whether visiting a bird sanctuary or simply flipping through a bird book, this creature captivates the heart of anyone who appreciates the beauty and intricacy of the avian world.


Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameDalmatian Pelican
2BinominalPelecanus crispus
3ColorPrimarily white with a touch of gray
4Average length160 to 183 cm
5Average height (upside down vertical)Approximately 160 cm
6Type of birdFreshwater/wetland
7Found in states in IndiaGujarat, Rajasthan
8HabitatLakes, rivers, deltas, and estuaries
9IUCN StatusNear Threatened

Features of the Bird


The Dalmatian Pelican is a large bird, boasting an average length ranging from 160 to 183 cm. This makes it one of the largest flying bird species in the world. It is the most extended bird and the heaviest, with males averaging around 10.4 kg and females about 8.7 kg. This extensive size and its massive wingspan make for a bird PNG that takes up your whole screen. The bird can span 245 to 351 cm in width, making it a dominant presence in any bird sanctuary it chooses to inhabit.


When the Dalmatian Pelican is measured upside-down vertically, its height reaches approximately 160 cm. This height attribute adds to its majestic aura and solidifies its place in birdlife sanctuary documentation. If you’re a bird lover, taking a bird picture of a standing Dalmatian Pelican will be a rewarding experience, especially given its unique height measurement techniques.

Running Speed

While running speed may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of pelicans, the Dalmatian Pelican is surprisingly agile on land. This is crucial when it has to dodge potential threats, making it a bird worthy of your bird migration tracking list.


Primarily white with a touch of grey, the coloration of the Dalmatian Pelican makes it a captivating subject for bird photos. This natural colour palette makes the bird stand out against the lush backdrops of the wetlands and adds a sense of serenity to any birdhouse it chooses to occupy.

Habitat and Food of the Bird

  1. Habitat: The bird predominantly inhabits lakes, rivers, deltas, and estuaries.
  1. Elevation: Unlike the great white pelican, the Dalmatian pelican is not tied to lowland areas and can nest in various elevations.
  1. Diet: Primarily piscivorous, it feeds mostly on common carp and European perch.
  1. Seasonal Movement: During winter, it stays on ice-free lakes or bird sanctuaries in Europe and India.
  1. Feeding Behavior: Usually forages alone or in small groups, employing different methods like corralling fish into shallow waters.

Nesting and Nurturing

The Dalmatian Pelican is quite traditional when it comes to nesting. They usually return to a familiar breeding site year after year. The nest, usually in secluded wetlands, is built from sticks and reeds, providing a cosy bird nest for their young. It’s a bird lover’s delight to witness the nurturing behaviours of these pelicans, as the male incubates the eggs while the female feeds the young with pre-digested fish.


The Dalmatian Pelican faces various threats ranging from habitat loss to human interference. A large bird requires a sizable area to inhabit, which often collides with human activities like fishing. There are also risks from predators, especially during the nesting season. Birdlife sanctuary initiatives aim to mitigate these threats by creating safe zones for the bird.

IUCN Status and Conservation

The Dalmatian Pelican has a “Near Threatened” status on the IUCN Red List, making bird conservation a high priority. Efforts to protect this majestic creature include habitat restoration and strict fishing regulations. Any bird shop near me wouldn’t sell such a species, underlining the importance of its conservation.


The Dalmatian Pelican is an avian marvel that demands our attention and conservation efforts. Whether you are visiting a bird sanctuary or scanning through bird photos, the magnificence of this bird cannot be ignored. Its unique features and majestic presence make it a jewel of the birdlife community.

More info about Dalmatian Pelican – Link

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