Fisherman’s Friends: The Pelicans of Lake Kerkini


Lake Kerkini, famous as a bird-watching destination in northern Greece, has a particularly robust Dalmation pelican population. The local fishermen have developed a special relationship with these birds, feeding them for hundreds of years during wintertime so that they would stay in the region to help maintain a healthier ecosystem and keep the number of cormorants at a manageable level so as not to deplete the lake’s ecosystem.

The friendly pelicans are now used to human presence and, what began as a means of livelihood has helped expand tourism in the region. Photographers and nature-lovers alike want to get up close and personal with the pelicans. Guided tours and photography classes in the region have multiplied.