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Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the mysterious shoebill of Uganda.

Tweet of the Day is the voice of birds and our relationship with them, from around the world.

Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the mysterious shoebill of Uganda. Reaching almost one and a quarter metres in height and looking like a hefty-looking blue-grey stork, ornithologists remain unsure which birds are their closest relatives. As its name suggests, the Shoebill's most outstanding feature, is its enormous clog-shaped bill. Up to 20cm long, half as wide and ending in a nail-like hook. They live in central and east African swamps where they feed on reptiles, fish, amphibians and even young crocodiles. Their bill is also useful in the baking heat of the African sun, when the adults scoop up beak-fulls of water and shower it over their chicks to help them keep cool.

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2 minutes

Last on

Tue 13 Dec 2016 05:58

Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)

Webpage image courtesy of Barrie Britton /

NPL Ref 01426232  © Barrie Britton /

Recording of Shoebill by Myles E. W. North / Ref: ML 2284

This programme contains a wildtrack recording of the Shoebill kindly provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; recorded by MilesE. W. North on 24th Oct 1961, in Uganda.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


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