Monday, February 4, 2013

The Shoebill

Talk about conspicuous birds, the Shoebill is one heck of a bird with a strikingly huge, straw colored spherical bill with erratic grayish markings that can best live up to its name. Aside from the eye-catching bill, its height is distinctive among birds, that reaches up to about 5 feet, approximately 55 -60 inches and its massive weight as far as birds are concerned ranging from 8.8 to 15 pounds and a wide wingspan of 91 to 100 inches. Its feet are remarkably large with the middle toe protruding, reaching to about 6.6-7.3 inches in length making them capable to hunt on water while standing without getting wet.
Shoebill storks
A little closer to the pelicans but has characteristics that are much closer to storks and herons, shoebills love to hunt for prey in swamps, marshes and in floating vegetation areas, usually standing motionless while eyeing for the kill. This is one significant characteristic that not all known birds have – the ability to hunt by pretending to be immobile that is not a threat at all as compared to other predators. They usually stalk their prey slowly but surely and work at it solitarily in a lingering yet lurking fashion.

Most Shoebills are known to move very slowly and has the propensity to stay in one position for a long period of time, keeping still to the point of looking like a statue. This is the main reason why most notable descriptions of the Shoebill will always have the “statue-like” description as part of it.

Still and fixed, shoebills successfully forage and thrive at a minimum distance of 20 meters or 66 feet using solely their vision as compared to other predators that use the tactile hunting method. The Shoebill is one special kind of bird species that is considered to be part of the list of desirable birds in America.




The Shoebill Video

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