Shoebill which has a scientific name of Balaeniceps Rex is also known as whalehead or whale-headed stork, is a very large stork-like bird and this unique type of bird is totally different from all other species of birds. It derived its name from its enormous shoe shaped muzzle. It also has got a somewhat stork like overall form and this is accompanied by its changing colors. This unique type of bird species has previously been classified with the stork in the order ciconiiformes based on this morphology.
However this called for different research work and in this the genetic evidence places it with the pelecaniformes. The adult is mainly grey in color and while the juveniles are more browner.
Shoebill birds live tropical East Africa and are commonly found in larger swamps that are in Uganda, Sudan and also Zambia. These countries have got a chance of also inhabiting the world’s most wanted wildlife species that have got no harm but only nature.
Shoebill stork in Uganda can be seen in several areas including in Murchison falls National park the area where the River Nile merges with Lake Albert. The shoebill stork can as well be found in Lake Mburo National park, Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park which is spotted along the Lake Edward, Ziwa Rhino sanctuary and Semuliki wildlife reserve.
Shoebill stork in Uganda can as well be spotted by bird tourists in Nabajuzi Swamp located in Masaka district.
The total number of shoebill stork birds in Uganda has raised to 1000 shoebill birds. Shoebill stork, can be added on your tour itinerary to Uganda, since it’s a very magnificent and worthy bird to be spotted in the wilderness. Below is some of the information, about a shoebill stork famous bird:
Shoebill was also known to be both ancient from Egyptians and Arabs but still was not classified not until 19th century.
Shoebill stork birds have been considered to be closer to the pelicans and this information and research was totally based on anatomical comparison. They were also considered to be closer to hernos and this research was based on the biochemical evidence, that was conducted and approved in the year of 2002. More studies were carried out on this unique bird over the years.
This forced the researchers to know more about it and ideas came up of studying it’s eggs. Microscopic analysis of the egg shell structures, that was carried out by Konstantin Mikhailov in the year of 1995, found out that the egg shells of the shoebill closely resembled those of the other pelecaniformes in having a covering of thickness as that of a microglobulin material over the crystalline shells.
And in addition to that, A Recent DNA study reinforces their membership to the pelecaniformes, and the most amazing features on the shoebill is that this large bird has got an height that is in the range of approximately 110 centimeters to 140 centimeters.
If we measure from tail to beak, its length ranges between 100 centimeters and 140 centimeters with the wingspan of approximately 230 centimeters to 260 centimeters.
Shoebill stork bird has a weight that is the range of approximately 4 kilograms to 7 kilograms and in all these aspects a male shoebill weighs approximately 5.6 kilograms more than the females and also the weight of the female shoebill is recorded as 4.9 kilograms.
This stork is also considered to be one of the five most desirable birds in the big continent of Africa by ornithologist. There are Egyptian images depicting the shoebill while the Arabs referred to the bird as Abu marking, which means one with a shoe and this was a reference with the bird’s distinctive beak.