from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tall wading bird (Balaeniceps rex) native to swampy regions of eastern tropical Africa, having slaty plumage, long legs, a stubby neck, and a large shoelike bill with a hook on the upper mandible.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The whalehead, Balæniceps rex. See cut under Balæniceps.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A large African wading bird (Balæniceps rex) allied to the storks and herons, and remarkable for its enormous broad swollen bill. It inhabits the valley of the White Nile. See Illust. (l.) of beak.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A tall wading bird related to the stork, native to tropical African swamps.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun large stork-like bird of the valley of the White Nile with a broad bill suggesting a wooden shoe


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From shoe + bill


  • Notable mountain forest birds are the Rwenzori turaco, Musophaga johnstoni and the handsome francolin, Francolinus nobilis; also the forest ground thrush Turdus oberlaenderi and the shoebill Balaeniceps rex.

    Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

  • The shoebill, also known as the whalehead, is a large bird from East Africa.

    Graham Hill: The Funny Lines We Draw Between Cute & Ugly Animals

  • They support the largest population of shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) in Africa with an estimated population of roughly 5,000.

    Saharan flooded grasslands

  • The shoebill image, taken by Doug Janson, is from here.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • One of its biggest attractions is the lofty shoebill stork, which feeds on baby crocodiles amongst other things.

    The Guardian World News

  • The shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) is a large bird (4 feet tall, wingspan of 7.7 feet) that hails from tropical east Africa.

    Clipmarks | Live Clips

  • While the shoebill is technically a type of stork, it's not hard to see why the cartoon kinds that always show up delivering babies don't look much like this hook-billed cousin.


  • And as these amateur photos from the San Diego Wild Animal Park show, the shoebill isn't always in predator mode -- here, it gently moves a duck out of its way with only a few feathers lost.


  • Measuring up at nearly 5 feet tall, and native to the East African White Nile marshes, the shoebill has a wingspan of as much as 10 feet -- and a reputation for violent nocturnal feedings of fish, turtles, baby birds, and small crocodiles; however, with as few as 5,000 left in the world, the


  • Other globally threatened species recorded in this ecoregion include wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus, VU), which has its main breeding populations in the wetlands of Zambia, including the Kafue Flats and the Bangweulu and Busanga swamps, corncrake (Crex crex, VU), lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni, VU), great snipe (Gallinago media) and shoebill stork (Balaeniceps rex).

    Zambezian flooded grasslands


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  • Ah, I see. That's a good way to put it. :-)

    February 23, 2007

  • Well, they *average* as my favorites. I'm currently enamored of go away birds...

    February 23, 2007

  • Oh yes, the secretary bird! Don't let the name fool you. That creature can stomp the bejesus out of you just because it needs a snack.

    Trivet, I wish I *could* name my favorite birds. Every time I hear of a new one, it's my favorite. Fickle, aren't I?

    February 23, 2007

  • That bird is dope as shit y'all. They should make a shoebill cartoon character.

    February 23, 2007

  • Big old clodhoppers, aren't they? My favorite African birds are this guy, the secretary bird and the hammerkop.

    February 23, 2007

  • You have to see this bird's bill to believe it.

    February 23, 2007