Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus)

(2178) Pelecanus crispus.


The Dalmatian Pelican.

Pelecanus crispus Brack.. Isis, 1832, p. 1109 (Dalmatia); Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 335.

Vernacular names. As for the preceding bird.

Description. Primaries and primary coverts blackish, the former with concealed white bases; outer secondaries brown with broad white inner edges; inner secondaries diagonally brown on the terminal halves with white edges all round; remainder of plumage silvery-white, the feathers of the back, scapulars, wing-coverts and shorter upper tail-coverts with black shafts.

Colours of soft parts. Iris white or yellowish-white; bill plumbeous-grey, the nail and edges of both mandibles yellow over the apical half; cheeks, orbital skin and pouch pale yellowish or creamy flesh-colour, the last deepening to orange-red in the breeding-season; legs and feet pale bluish-grey or plumbeous. Young birds have the bare portions of the face and pouch pale dull yellowish ; iris pale dull yellow.

Measurements. Wing, 720 to 800 mm., 680 to 720 mm.; tail 220 to 230 mm.; tarsus 116 to 122 mm.; culmen, 400 to 450 mm., 360 to 380 mm.

Young birds -have the head and neck white with brown bases to the leathers ; under-plumage pure white; upper parts pale brown, most of the feathers with white centres ; tail more or less brown, the bases of all and the inner webs of the lateral feathers with much white.

Distribution. Southern Europe from Hungary and Dalmatia, East to the Caspian Sea, Persia and thence to Northern China and South-East Mongolia. In Winter it migrates to Egypt, Nubia, Baluchistan, Northern India and South China. It is common in the North-West but occurs in Oude, Behar and Bengal and I have shot one specimen in A sam, whilst a second was obtained by Dr. Moore on the 5th of July at Dibrugarh.

Nidification as in the preceding races. Dombrowski gives the average of one hundred eggs as 93.3 x 58.1 mm.: maxima 102.0 x 58.1 and 96.0 x 64.0 mm.; minima 82.5 x 60.0 and 85.5 x 52.9 mm.

They breed during April and early May, but I have eggs taken in March and again in July in the delta of the Volga.

Habits. Those of the genus.

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