Mary E. Fuller:

If anyone in the US has been watching Africa (on Discovery Channel) here is a little more info about the shoebills in Zambia. Here’s a link to the part about shoebills:


Originally posted on BangweuluFish:

With BBC Africa’s recent footage of a shoebill nest in Bangweulu making headlines I’ve realised its high time I put some photos and facts up here about the Bangweulu swamp’s flagship species.

Shoebill (Baleaniceps rex- meaning ‘whale-head king’) occur only in the Africa’s most vast swamps and wetlands. Here they mostly just stand around, their giant feet supporting their weight on the floating grass. They are fairly lazy, so instead of enthusiastically going for tiny fish like all the other thousands of birds in the swamp, they just hang out waiting for a BIG fish to come past. The trick with big fish though (especially catfish, their favourite!) is that they have mighty hard skulls. Not a problem…

So, after chomping and crushing a fish every day or two, what else do they get up to? Nothing much, really. They make nests where, as the BBC so dramatically show, two…

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