June 12, 2021

Looks like a giant prehistoric era bird but it is very much real! – The Shoebill stork

Shoebill Stork| Dinosaur bird | Prehistoric Era bird of Uganda| Most intimidating shoebill Stork 


The Shoebill Stork, also known as the “Dinosaur Bird” is a large intimidating bird standing at 5 feet tall resembling the giant birds existing during the dinosaur era. These may terrify by their appearance standing almost still starring with their large eyes but these cause no harm to humans and are one most popular birds among the researchers. 

                                 


Shoebill Stork looks like a prehistoric bird
Image Source-  Google | Image by -  Pixabay

       

Characteristics and Behaviour 

Shoebill Stork is a goofy kind of bird from the family of  Ciconiidae. The research and the DNA are closely related to pelicans. Shoebill Stork is found in Eastern tropical African countries like Zambia, Sudan, etc. These are 5 feet tall creatures with wingspan spreading to 8 feet in length. Shoebill weighs around 4 to 6 kg in weight depending on male or female as males are usually heavier. These were very popular among the early Egyptians as these can be found in their arts and inscriptions. 

Shoebill has a large clog-shaped bill with a hook at the end. The entire body is deep grey coloured even the legs and larges eyes which help to prey over the fishes. Large legs assist in hunting in the swampy lands. These even having large wings fly for only short distances. The most unique feature about the shoebill is its large hollow sound like a “machine gun”. 

Habitat and Diet 

Shoebill is mostly found in the swampy regions in the eastern African region where they can be sighted preying on the banks of rivers and lakes. These stand almost still in the muddy water waiting for a fish to come close by and then that giant bill comes in handy where they immediately grab the fish and swallow the whole fish at once. 

                                        


Shoebill Stock in captivity
Image Source-  Google | Image by -  Pixabay

These almost all kinds of fish especially the lungfish which can fit in their mouth along with some turtles and even small crocodiles. These birds have a huge appetite when it comes to food. 

Conservation 

According to estimate, there are only five to seven thousand wild Shoebills left in the wild and only around 150 to 180 pairs left in the region of Uganda. Several steps are being taken for conservation such as the designation of the Mabamba wetland region as centre for conservation of all migratory birds in the region wherein development changes to the ecosystem have been checked to prevent any sort of ecological destruction. 

                                  


Shoebill has been declared endangered by IUCN
Image Source-  Google | Image by - Flickr 

Various summits and conferences are being held every year to monitor the results of conservation programs and to suggest and implement new innovative ideas to protect the species. 


Shoebill Stork| Dinosaur bird | Prehistoric Era bird of Uganda| Most intimidating shoebill Stork 

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