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Shoebill Stock in Uganda

Shoebill Stork in Uganda

This Uganda safari offer is a unique bird species of its kind. Three features conglomerate to give the shoe bill its curious and fairly historic prehistoric appearance.

  • One is its enormous proportions; an adult might stand more than 5 feet tall and typically weigh 6 kg.
  • The second is its unique salty-gray coloration.
  • The third is its clog-shaped, hook-tipped bill, which is 20 cm long and comprehensive and leading of the exiting species of birds.

The first known references to this special creature arose from the writings of Europeans on the Sudan expedition, which featured a flying creature of camel size known to the local Arabs as Abu Markub, the father of the shoe.

Even though western biologists rejected the claims, Gould was able to confirm them in 1851 thanks to his experience with the avian collections that originated in the upper White Nile.

The life cycle of the shoe bill can stretch to over 50 years, with a monogamous marital setting often pairing up in the breeding season (April–June) to construct a grassy nest up to 3m wide on a mound of floating vegetation or a small island. Two eggs are laid, and the parents equally participate in the incubation process, including the amazing egg cooling using beak-collected water. One month’s hatching period is considered before parents embark on chicks’ care for the next two months.

The shoe bill is a true swamp specialist, though it avoids dense stands of papyrus and tall grass, which obstruct its flight. This birding safari creature takes food that amounts to half its weight per day, with lung fish as the delicacy.  Classified as near-globally threatened by Bird International, its global population estimates vary wildly.

In the 1970s, only 1,500 shoe bills were thought to exist in the wild, but this has been reviewed to range between 10,000 and 15,000 numbers existing in the five countries of Uganda, Sudan, Zambia, the DRC, and Tanzania, with minor  breeding populations in Rwanda and Ethiopia and vagrants being recorded in Malawi and Kenya.

Of all the states, Uganda is the easiest place to spot the shoe bill in the wild. With concentrations of less than 1,000 birds, mostly in the Kyoga-Bisina-Opeta complex of wetlands. Tourists on Uganda safari visit, can easily spot the shoebill in Murchison Falls National Park, Semliki Wild Life Reserve, and Mabamba Swamp near Entebbe.

Short tours to the Zoo in Entebbe reward a traveler with complete views. This great and rare threatened bird species can be arranged in your Uganda birding safaris, Uganda wildlife safaris, or gorilla tracking and trekking safari in Uganda.



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