Pelicans, fascinating species of our biodiversity, are normally associated by the public with exotic zones located in the Caribbean or the African continent. But in our Mediterranean also live two of the eight species currently existing on the planet: the shaggy pelican and the common pelican. Its peculiar aspect, characterized by its long beak with a large gular sac and its fishing habits have made them very popular in stories and tales, mythologies and iconographies of all times. They are gregarious birds, who travel in large groups, hunt cooperatively and breed in immense colonies. Its size is also impressive; in fact, the scowling pelican is one of the four species of bird candidate for the title of ‘heaviest flying bird in the world’. Their relationship with man has been close and often conflictive because they are considered as competent competitors in fishing, but currently enjoy total protection in their breeding areas.

This report has been made in the Balkans, in some of the natural areas of the Mediterranean with a greater population of these two species.

Photographs © Francisco Márquez