The shoebill: Some birds just look weird
I had a home inspection up in Escondido today, and when I’m in that area I always try to make it by the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park for a little while. Safari Park comprises about 1,800 acres, eighteen times larger than the San Diego Zoo. That makes it feasible to have some animals that require more room to roam than what the Zoo can provide.
The mountains are bigger….
The lakes are bigger….
The gardens are bigger….
Some of the birds are bigger:
That’s a shoebill (Balaeniceps rex), named for its massive shoe-like bill:
I don’t have any shoes like that, but it does remind me of those wooden shoes that they wear in Holland.
The shoebill gets up to 59 inches tall, weighs up to 15 pounds, and has a wing span up to 100 inches. It is indigenous to tropical swamps in east Africa.
Known to ancient Egyptians, the shoebill was not classified until the 19th century when the scientific community got some live birds. Originally it was classified with the storks but recent DNA studies indicate that it is more closely related to pelicans. Some ornithologists consider the shoebill to be the missing link between pelicans and storks.
Habitat destruction and hunting have resulted in the shoebill being listed as a vulnerable species.
There are two shoebills at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park. Check out the look that this one is giving me:
This post is dedicated to Belinda Spillman, a real estate agent with Cornerstone Homes/Metro Brokers Marina Square in Aurora, Colorado. I have known Belinda for a couple of years through significant interaction on the Internet at a real estate professional networking site. I highly recommend her for anyone needing real estate services in the Denver, Colorado, area.
Posted on February 29, 2012, in Birds, Fauna, Mother & Father Nature, Photos, Series and tagged birds, canon, canon 550d, safari park, san diego zoo, shoebill, zoo. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.