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Uganda is home to a spread of birds and wildlife- Gorillas, chimpanzees, tree climbing lions, monkeys of various kinds, leopards, impalas, the crested crane and then more. The rare and elusive shoebill is one amongst the birding sights in Uganda. The shoebill or shoe billed stork or whalehead is large bird mostly found within the lakes within the eastern a part of Africa. it’s most easily found in Uganda. But may also be seen in Kenya, the Central African Republic, northern Cameroon, south-western Ethiopia, Malawi, Botswana and also the upper river. this can be one in all the foremost asked for birds in Africa and is kind of the sight if you mange to determine it on your Uganda safari. shoebill

 

What is so interesting about the shoebill?

There are some interesting facts about this bird that make it a noteworthy species worth seeing on safari. The Shoebill Stork has outstanding prehistoric looks. it’s an enormous shoe shaped bill. It’s usually about 150cm tall and might weigh up to 14 pounds. The Arabs wont to call the Shoebill Stork “Abu Maruk” meaning father of the shoe one could call the Shoebill Stork a flying shoe thanks to the unique bill. The shoebill may be a solitary bird with contains a lifespan of about 50 or more years. It interestingly forms monogamous relationships during the mating season which falls between April and June. The parent birds make a nest on the bottom, and also the female usually lays two eggs. Both parents participate within the period of time which lasts a month. The new chicks are fed by the parent birds for several months until they’re the right age to forage for his or her own food.

 

What do shoebills feed on?

The shoebills are found lake or swamp in order that they find their food within the water. Their main diet is lungfish, which may be supplemented. The Shoebill stork, a swamp specialist, survives on a diet of mainly of lung fish which supplemented by frogs, puddle fish, the occasional baby crocodile and water snakes. All of this can be possible due to the sharp edges of the wide bill.  

 

A few behavioural facts.

Shoebill stocks tend to be nocturnal. Although they’re primarily water birds, they are doing not have webbed feet, but can still stealthily stalk their prey within the water. They are mostly solitary birds and have territories of which they will be quite protective. They are normally silent birds but can perform bill clattering displays at their nests. When on the wing they need a good wing span and their heads and necks retract. They usually seem sluggish on the bottom, but are graceful within the air and when attacking their prey they pull back their wings and approach their prey during a way demonstrating their strength. Shoebill

 

Where are you able to find shoebills in Uganda?

Shoebills are often seen in several places such as; within the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth Park along the Lake Edward Flats, in Murchison Falls parkland where the Nile merges with Lake Albert, Lake Mburo parkland, Ziwa Rhino Reserve, Lake Kyoga , Semiliki Wildlife reserve, the Mabamba Swamp near Entebbe and within the Nabajuzi Swamp in Masaka The total population of shoebill storks in Uganda today is about 1000 birds. they’re sometimes hunted by fishermen who have superstitions about their presence on the lake. These birds are quite magnificent and value a visit to the places named above. Add a minimum of one in every of the shoebill habitats to your itinerary as you intend your Uganda safari.

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