Safari News

The famous Shoe bill stork in Uganda

By February 28, 2018 No Comments

It’s quite an amusing fact that the Shoe bill is a very exclusive ancient appearing bird. It’s one of the most sought-after birds in Africa and Uganda particularly. Not only do people who travel to Uganda for Uganda Birding Safari activities enjoy bird watching, but they also get the privilege to go for Gorilla Trekking Safari Tours as well.

Bird watching safaris in Uganda can be done at anytime of through out the year. Both the wet and dry seasons are good for bird sighting activities. The best time to do bird watching is between May through September but August through mid-September is also great.

Birding safaris

A stunning Grey crowned crane in the field.

Uganda as a pearl of Africa is known to be a home of variety of birds and wildlife. On a Uganda Safari holiday, you can find chimpanzees, monkeys, mountain gorillas, tree climbing lions among others. Amongst all these attractions in Uganda, bird watching is another big center of attraction having the Shoe bill stork in specific.

Brief talk about the Shoe bill stork

Have you ever imagined the Shoe billed stork could be extinct! There are about 1000 Shoe bills left in Uganda today. Unfortunately, their habitats are stormed by fishermen who hunt them with a belief of them being a bad omen. The Shoe bill is a very outstanding bird with a shoe shaped bill. It’s fascinating because the Arabs call it the “Abu Maruk” meaning father of the shoe.

The Shoe bill’s diet

The whale-headed stork survives on food in the water. It feeds on lungfish, frogs, lizards, water snakes, baby crocodiles and puddle fish. It can manage to feed on these items because it has a sharp wide bill. The Shoe bill is a nocturnal. It doesn’t have webbed feet but furtively catches their prey in water.

Birding safaris

Shoe bill stock in statue mood.


The female Shoe bill usually lays two eggs. It makes a nest on the ground where its eggs hatch from. Both the female Shoe bill and male Shoe bill share incubation duties. After a period of one month, the eggs hatch and their mother feeds them for 1-2 months until they adapt to feeding themselves.

Above is an image of a Shoe bill mother close to her nest. picture by Uganda Birding Safaris.

Did you know?

The Shoe bill is a solitary bird that can leave for 45-50 or more years. They are sluggish birds on ground and tend to act like statues because they stand still for long times. These birds have a wide wing span to enable them beautifully fly in the air.

Passionate people who are intrigued to take part in Uganda birding safari tours can always visit different places. Such as Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Besides bird watching in this park, you can also pick interest in Kyambura George, where you get to see different playful chimpanzee’s and many other breath taking wildlife. You can also find the Shoe billed stork at  Lake Mburo National Park and Mabamba swamp close to Entebbe.

Are you interested in getting to know more about the different birds in Uganda’s vicinity? Click here to know more…

Article by Uganda Birding safaris

The famous Shoe bill stork in Uganda – Uganda Birding Safari news



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