Pelicans of Mykonos | The Story of Famous Petros and the Charming Flight of Enchantment
Updated: Oct 18
George Papadellis | SG Head
with some good tips from AI
The island of Mykonos has long been a haven for jet-setters, celebrities, and tourists from all corners of the globe. But amidst the glamorous allure of this enchanting destination, lies a heartwarming tale of avian charm and connection. The story of the Mykonos pelicans began in 1958 when fate brought a wounded pelican into the lives of the island's fishermen, sparking a lasting bond between humans and these majestic creatures.
The Legend of Petros
It all started when a Mykonos fisherman discovered a wounded pelican on the island's coast. The locals named the resilient bird "Petros" after the Greek word "petros", meaning rock, symbolizing its survival against all odds. The islanders nursed the pelican back to health and soon adopted it as a beloved member of their community. Petros the Pelican became a superstar on Mykonos, capturing the hearts of residents and visitors alike. His endearing personality, social nature, and love for the limelight made him an icon on the island, where he rubbed wings with renowned celebrities like Aristotle Onassis, Maria Callas, and Grace Kelly.
The Mykonos Mascots
In the spirit of preserving the legacy of Petros, the islanders brought in new pelicans to continue the tradition. Today, three pelicans, including one aptly named Petros, are cherished mascots of Mykonos. These great white pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) have a majestic presence, with lengths ranging from 1.40 to 1.75 meters, wingspans between 2.45 to 2.95 meters, and weighing approximately 11 kilograms. These beautiful birds, with their light-colored plumage, become even more vibrant during the breeding season.
Attributes of Mykonos Pelicans
Pelicans are remarkable creatures with unique physical attributes. They have long beaks, large throat pouches to catch prey, webbed feet for efficient swimming, and broad wings for graceful flight. Their population has faced challenges due to habitat destruction, pollution, and disturbances, making the presence of the Mykonos pelicans all the more precious.
Adventures and Triumphs
Petros the Pelican's adventures were as vibrant as the island itself. He roamed Mykonos freely, making friends with tourists and locals alike. His jovial and independent spirit endeared him to everyone who crossed his path. Over the years, Petros became an inseparable part of the island's identity, embodying the joy and warmth of Mykonos.
The Ties That Bind
Petros' fame extended beyond Mykonos, leading to an ill-fated abduction attempt by the residents of Tinos, an adjacent island. The audacious act sparked a conflict between the islands, with the Mykonians rallying to bring their beloved pelican home. Fortunately, Petros' loyalty prevailed, and he returned to Mykonos victoriously, reinforcing the bond between the island and its cherished mascot.
The End of an Era
As with all great tales, Petros' journey came to an end in 1985, leaving the island in mourning. While rumors and folklore surround the circumstances of his demise, his legacy remains etched in the hearts of the Mykonians. Petros may have passed on, but his spirit lives on through the three pelicans that now continue his enduring presence on the island.
A Deep Connection
In the captivating realm of Mykonos, where stars have shone and dreams have come true, the pelicans have claimed their own rightful place. From the humble beginnings of Petros to the present-day trio of feathered mascots, these pelicans have enchanted both residents and tourists alike. Their story symbolizes the deep connection between humans and nature and serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving our fragile ecosystems. When you visit Mykonos, take a moment to embrace the presence of these magnificent creatures. Meet Petros the Pelican, the superstar who captured hearts and left an indelible mark on the island. Join us on our Mykonos tours to witness the magic of the pelicans of Mykonos, where nature and humanity converge in perfect harmony.