Photo: © Damyan Petkov

At the end of March, the first Dalmatian pelicans hatched in the Persina Nature Park and in the Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area. This was established during the regular monitoring of the species, carried out by experts and volunteers of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB), as well as by experts from the Directorate of the Persina Nature Park – the town of Belene.

At this time, adult birds carefully care for and warm their young. More pelicans are expected to hatch in the coming days, as not all pairs from the breeding colonies nested at the same time. This is quite normal for this iconic wetland species.

After last year’s unsuccessful breeding season, due to the extremely low level of the Danube River, which resulted in the drying up of the marshes on Persin Island, to date a total of 35 pairs of Dalmatian pelicans have nested on the two wooden platforms in the Peschina Marsh located in the Persina Nature Park.

Гнездящи двойки в блато Песчина, © Свилен Чешмеджиев

Nesting pairs in Peschina Marsh, © Svilen Cheshmedziev

On the other hand, the experts and volunteers of the BSPB established a record number of breeding pairs in the Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area during the current season. In addition to the 64 pairs that occupied the two wooden platforms, another 15 pairs formed nests on fallen trees, which is extremely interesting and curious.

Блато Песчина, © Свилен Чешмеджиев

© Svilen Cheshmedziev

This brings the total number of nesting pelicans in the protected area to 79, compared to just 3 two years ago and 30 the year before. This is an outstanding conservation success that is a step forward in the conservation of this majestic species.

Колонията в ЗМ "Калимок - Бръшлен",

The colony in the Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area, © Damyan Petkov

The experts and volunteers of the BSPB will continue with the regular monitoring of the species, and we all hope that the pelicans in the Persina Nature Park and in the Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area will have a successful breeding season!

Блато Песчина, © Свилен Чешмеджиев

Peschina Marsh, © Svilen Cheshmedziev

When monitoring with a drone, it is very important that the birds are not disturbed. Therefore, this type of research is only carried out by experts in the species.

The conservation activities of the Dalmatian Pelican are carried out in the framework of the “Pelican Way of LIFE” project (LIFE18/NAT/NL/000716), funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union and with the assistance of the Whitley Fund for Nature.