Great White Pelican takes flight in Danube Delta

The Danube Delta is home of two species of pelicans. The pelican is the symbol of the Delta. Here is home to Europe’s most important colony: 3.500 pairs live in the Danube Delta . we decided to visit this site in May 2012 on a photographer trip with Sakertours. One of the highlights were photoshots of starting Great White Pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus and Dalmatian pelican, Pelecanus crispus.
With his 9 – 11 kg of weight the adult Great White Pelican is one of the heaviest and largest flying birds in the world. Ahead of this pelican species in weight is only the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus), the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) and the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor). To provide his lungs with enough oxygen, he has five air sacs, which extend through the entire abdominal cavity. A special technique is also the flapping flight, with which he strikes 70 times per minute, a gull (Laridae), e.g. needs 180 beats per minute. With its 3.60 m wide wings the Pelican is able to use (as one of only a few water birds) the thermals by the rising warm air for circling in the air without any physical effort of his own.
Like many birds, the pelican has a very light skeleton. His bones are used as air chambers, too. In these chambers, there is a very complicated system of braces that make the bones stable. The bones of the pelican contain more calcium and less fat than those of mammals, making it even easier. Unfortunately, this construction also has two disadvantages: first, the bones become recalcitrant quickly and secondly, the body of the bird can dipped in the water only slightly and – of course – the bird is not able to dive or move under water. Consequently he can find food only in shallow lakes and ponds. With up to 11 kg weight the pelican needs quite a take-off distance (as you see in the pictures of the gallery) to get out off the water. Afterwards pelicans fly very elegant. (s. http://tierdoku.com/index.php?title=Rosapelikan#Flugtechnik_und_Wanderung)
After approx. 2850 km the Danube flows into the Black Sea. At the Romanian-Ukrainian border area the Danube widens into a vast river delta. 5000 square kilometers of lowland forests, tributaries, lakes, Europe’s largest reed-beds and extreme dry habitats on the dunes make the Danube delta to an ecological paradise. 1991 UNESCO declared large parts of the Delta to the World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. The process to restore the original wildness again is still in full swing and seems to be successful.
To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic. Trips to remote places as described above – but also to the in Macin Mountains – to capture images of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. The nice images you find in the gallery are only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Pictures Shop” very soon. Just give me a message, if I could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.
Other successful shootings you can see under: www.bird-lens.com.

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