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Great White Pelican

Pelecanus onocrotalus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Розовый пеликан | Қызғылт бірқазан
adult

2014-06-21
Sorbulak.
© Askar Isabekov

Distribution

In Kazakhstan in the recent past White Pelican was as common breeding bird throughout north-east of Caspian Sea and in deltas of flowing rivers (Volga, Ural, Emba). Now inhabits Balkhash-Alakol depression, lower Turgay river, occasionally nests in Naurzum Reserve, two colonies found in 2003 on Sarykopa lake, on Teniz lake in Tobol river valley. Since 1970 breeding resumed on Zaysan lake, where in 1985 about 300 pairs counted. On Chushkakol lakes a colony was found in 1988. On migration and as a vagrant it occurs throughout Kazakhstan. Accidental vagrants; three birds observed on Markakol lake on 16 August 1908, and one on 23 November 1908, one bird on Irtysh river between Ust-Kamenogorsk and Pavlodar 2 October 2002; and 26 birds on 8 September 2000 at Chokpak Pass.

Biology

Rare breeding migrant. Inhabits large fish reservoirs with reed beds. Usually nests in large colonies sometimes numbering hundreds or thousands of pairs. During migration occurs mainly in large flocks. Appears nearly two weeks after Dalmatian Pelican, at end February - March, when water is still partially frozen. Latest migrants recorded mid-May. Breeding begins soon after arrival. Nests are usually built on dry heaps of reed, less often on sandy or stony islands of large lakes (e.g. on Balkhash lake) from dry reed stems and leaves. Both parents build it for 2-3 days. Clutches of 2 eggs usual, less often of 1 or 3 eggs found mid-April – early May. Both parents incubate. Juveniles hatch after 33-39 days, at the end of May – early June and take flight at beginning of August. After breeding birds disperse widely. Autumn migration begins after the first frosts. Last birds observed in mid-November.

References

"Птицы Казахстана" том 1. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1960. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург. Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.

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