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Nov 2, 2016

One-of-a-kind species

                                                                    Photo: Ken Haley/Greatstock/Barcroft Images
Balaeniceps rex
Many birds do not appear at their best when gathering nesting materials, and Shoebills may fall into that category, at least based on the appearance of the one pictured above, photographed by Ken Haley, in Uganda, which appeared recently in the British newspaper, The Guardian.   Shoebills occupy tropical freshwater swamps in central eastern Africa from Sudan south to Zambia.   Several attempts to relate the Shoebill to other species have not been particularly successful so far, so its singular status remains intact at this time.   Birdlife International considers the Shoebill's total estimated population of 5,000 to 8,000 birds as "Vulnerable".   This 5' tall, odd-looking bird is also known as the Whalehead or the Shoebilled Stork.
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