Weird and Wonderful # 4 – The Shoebill Stork

This prehistoric, menacing looking bird is the Shoebill or Shoebill Stork. Although it has a somewhat stork-like overall form and has previously been classified in the order Ciconiiformes, their true affiliation with other living birds is ambiguous.



They can be found living in tropical east Africa, in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia. The adult is mainly grey while the juveniles are browner. The Shoebill is a tall bird, with a typical height range of over 1m or 5ft. At close range, it can be easily identified by its unique features.The shoebill’s silhouette resembles that of a stork or condor; also unusual, its tail is the same colour as its wings. Its legs, roughly the length of storks’, extend straight back far past its tail when in flight.

The Shoebill is indeed one of the weirder animals in Africa but nonetheless, wonderful.

I just wouldn’t want to run into it in a dark alley.

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