With feathers on its head that make it look like it is wearing a wig, it does not go unnoticed — the Dalmatian pelican is back with a flourish in the Divjaka Lagoon in western Albania, reports AFP.
The expansive site is one of the most important wetlands in the Adriatic basin, key for migratory wildlife and as a breeding area for the large elegant pelican.
But like other spots in Europe, the picturesque lagoon has suffered extensive damage at the hands of man and the Dalmatian pelican came close to deserting it.
Now a return in force of the bird, whose wingspan reaches up to three metres (10 feet), is down to a proactive policy by Albanian authorities, often criticised for being passive on environmental issues.
The king has returned this winter, said Fatos Jolla happily, a 67-year-old fisherman on the lagoon.
– A kingdom –
Since the 1980s, Europes bird population has declined by several tens of millions, according to ornithologists.