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Doug J | all galleries >> Birds, Birds, Birds >> Non-passeriformes Gallery > Shoebill
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Shoebill

Shoebill

Scientific name: Balaeniceps rex
Order: Pelecaniformes

Also called Whalehead

The Shoebill was only discovered in the 19th century when some skins were brought to Europe. It was not until years later that live specimens reached the scientific community. However, the bird was known to both ancient Egyptians and Arabs. There are Egyptian images depicting the Shoebill, while the Arabs referred to the bird as abu markub, which means one with a shoe, a reference to the bird's distinctive bill.

Shoebills feed in muddy waters, preying on lungfish and similar fish. They nest on the ground and lay 2 eggs.

The population is estimated at between 5,000 and 8,000 individuals, the majority of which live in Sudan. BirdLife International have classified it as Vulnerable with the main threats being habitat destruction, disturbance and hunting.

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Canon EOS-1D Mark III ,Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM
1/800s f/5.6 at 420mm (EF 300mm + EF 1.4x TC) ISO 800 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
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comment
vicente machado 02-Jun-2010 00:34
Splendid.
Unique.
Ali Majdfar20-May-2009 18:10
Outstanding capture, ~V