The Shoe Bill in Uganda : Uganda is one of the most blessed countries that have a lot different flora and fauna in each corner of the country, there are also numerous kinds of birds that are super loved by a number of people who come to see them in all forms of views ad even get to know their different characteristics Uganda has these lovely kind of birds in different parts and these are some of the top birding sites in Uganda. But before looking at the sites Uganda has got the most favored bird by the all its visitors and that’s the main focus of this article
A shoebill bird is the most famous and most loved bird in Uganda and it is as well found in these areas that we get to be the most famous birding sites in Uganda and you can as well get them there. Baptized for its large bill that is shaped like a shoe, the shoebill is one of the most sought-after birds among birders. Containing a primeval form, the shoebill looks like it endured the dinosaur age. Deprived of a doubt, this is one of the bizarre birds on the planet.
Birding Sites and some birds in Uganda
No matter where you go in Uganda, you will never be far from a reserve or national park where you can go bird watching and these are most famous areas where u will find these birds
· Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
· Nyamuriro Swamp
· Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
· Rwenzori Mountains National Park
· Kibale Forest National Park
· Queen Elizabeth National Park
· Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
· Semliki Reserves
There are several birds in these areas these birds are so lovely and exciting to see as they fly in the beautiful blue skies as you take shoots for your personal diary, some of these birds are
· Shelley’s Crimsonwing
· Great Blue Turaco
· Marabou Stork
· Doherty’s Bushshrike
· Saddle-billed Stork
· Green-Breasted Pitta
· Bar-tailed Trogon
· African Spoonbill
· Black Bee-Eater
· Crested Crane
Interesting Shoebill Facts
Here are some of the most interesting facts about the shoe bills that may have not known yet they may be your favorite birds as well and you could love to know bit more about them before you get to sight them on your Uganda birding tour and below are the simple facts we may want to know.
Look like dinosaurs
If you hadn’t noticed, they are unusual and almost dinosaur like in appearance.
At times, and from certain angles, they can appear rather menacing, peering down their long, razor sharp beak, with a hook at the tip.
Slowest flight birds
The shoebill’s flapping when flying is one of the slowest of any birds, at a mere 150 flaps per minute.
Only larger stalk species have slower flapping than the shoebill.
3rd longest beak
They have the 3rd longest beak in the world, which enables them to hunt extremely large prey, even baby crocodiles.
Their beaks can reach up to 24cm in length and 20cm (7.4 to 9.4 inches) in width, which helps them hunt for fish or snakes as long as 3.2 feet (1m) in size.
Decapitate their prey quickly
The razor sharp edges of its beak, allow it to decapitate their prey quickly.
They are known to often behead their prey, before consuming whole
A shoebill can often benefit from the presence of hippos, which disturb fish, and bulldoze paths through swamps. The shoebill can take advantage of the disturbed fish in the water and strike.
The shoebill favors areas of poorly oxygenated water. This causes the fish living in the water to surface for air more often. This increases the likelihood of the shoebill striking and capturing its prey
Can stand for a long period
A shoebill is an ambush predator, which often stands still for long periods, motionless like a statue, before launching a vicious attack to kill any prey that come within strike distance. The shoebill often feeds at night, and is also known to stand on floating vegetation to hunt their prey.
The Shoebill is usually silent, but they are known to clatter their bills loudly during courtship or greeting, which can sound a little like a machine gun. Bill-clattering is a behavior of real storks. They can also let out a high pitched whine, and even make cow-like ‘moo’ noises.
Breeding habits and ways
Shoebill is solitary in their breeding habits, with typically less than 3 nests per square kilometer. The nesting shoebill will vigorously defend their territory between 2 – 4 square kilometers (1 to 1.5 square miles) from other shoebill, and large birds.
Shoebills chicks often bully fight and can kill their siblings (known as ‘siblicide’) when only a few weeks old. Rather disturbingly, this is actually rather common in larger birds. Often the older, and bigger chick, can hurt a smaller chick, while their parents are away from the nest eventually driving it to live away from the nest. Research suggests, this is due to energy efficiency and survival of the fittest.
The shoebill female always lays two eggs, but only one ever survives. The second egg is seen like a ‘back up’, in case anything is wrong with the first egg. Usually the first to hatch survives only.
The Shoebill has long fascinated civilizations. They appear in wall paintings and hieroglyphics of ancient Egyptians, and its old Arabic name is Abu-markup, or ‘Father of a Slipper’.
Most expensive bird
Miserably, the request for shoebill birds in zoos or for isolated collectors is extremely high. There are reports that they can sell for US $10,000-$20,000, making them the most expensive birds in the zoo trade, The Shoe Bill in Uganda.
The high price encourages shady traders to capture the shoebill and sell to zoos or middle men – reducing the wild population size further. Shoebills rarely breed in captivity, The Shoe Bill in Uganda
They are incredibly rare, that birding enthusiasts have to pay local expert guides to go on specialist shoebill Uganda tours and safaris, to try and get a glimpse of the elusive, sought after birds in the wild.