Divine gift of the nature!
Skadar lake is one of the most visited bird sanctuaries in the Balkans. Because of the protection as a National park it is a heaven for birds.
One of the most popular and easily connected with Skadar lake is the Pelican. The domestic species is called Pelecanus crispus and it is only present in on the Skadar Lake.
Pelecanus crispus is the biggest Pelican, a splendid flyer and swimmer and fantastic fisher. Beneath the half a meter-long peak there is an uncommon sack, unique in the bird world. It is believed that the pelican stores fish here. But the sack is first of all a fishing tool, with the help of it the bird fish in shallow water, because pelican is the only bird that can’t dive. The sack is also used for feeding the nestlings.
The first detailed study of the Pelicans began in 1972 and it continues till today. The golden years for the pelican population were the 70’s when 46 nestlings came to adulthood.
The pelicans like to nest by the water in secluded areas. These areas are like small islands that were made during the winter by plants and algae that were hugged together by the wind and waves. The problem was that when the pelicans make a nest and the water level rises, this sadly happens often because of rain, the eggs and nests get covered by the water.
To help the colony, environment protectors made small artificial floating platforms that are masked with the natural habitat of the pelicans, but are safe when the water rises because they rise with it and keep the eggs and nestlings safe.
Humans always had strong connections with pelicans. People are in awe because of their attachment to their nesting grounds, peaceful nature and the fishing skill they have.
Warm feelings towards pelican are evoked by the way pelicans are devoted to their nestlings. A legend says that a pelican mom “tore” her chest opens to feed the nestlings because of a food shortage. The source of this legend is that the little birds when they eat out of the parent’s sack can hurt them with their small beaks. And whenever there is a lake or river you will certainly find a bout named after the Pelican.