Family Shoebill (Balaenicipitidae)

Vulnerable

Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)


Taxonomy

French: Bec-en-sabot du Nil German: Schuhschnabel Spanish: Picozapato
Taxonomy:

Balaeniceps rex

Gould

, 1850,

upper White Nile

.

Monotypic.

Distribution:

South Sudan and SW Ethiopia to S DRCongo and N Zambia; irregular non-breeding visitor in Central African Republic.

Descriptive notes

120 cm; male 6·7 kg, female 4·36–5·9 kg. Unmistakable, with unique, highly conspicuous bill; flight-feathers darker, dull green gloss on upperparts, iris variable, grey... read more

Voice

Usually silent, although may utter an occasional raucous cry when soaring. At nest utters a high-... read more

Habitat

Inhabits extensive marshes particularly, although not exclusively, those formed by a mixture of... read more

Food and feeding

Fish, particularly lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus), are the principal prey. Other fish taken include the Senegal bichir (... read more

Breeding

Timing of breeding season is linked to water levels. Eggs laid at end of rains, as waters start to recede, and chicks fledge in late dry... read more

Movements

Sedentary. Small-scale displacements for feeding occur, related to changes in water levels. In S... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Recent estimates have put the global population at 5000–8000 birds but this figure may be too low and there may be up to 10,000 individuals. In... read more

Recommended citation

Elliott, A., Garcia, E.F.J. & Boesman, P. (2018). Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52752 on 21 June 2018).