November 26, 2014
The Shoebill, A Most Dinosaurian Bird
- as seen by -Steve Zack
The Shoebill is astonishing. Large with a massive beak, it screams dinosaurian roots. It is, in fact, an ancient bird among those found today, and it’s at the base of the lineage to pelicans (not to storks, as scientists originally thought).
I found it following a one-hour taxi ride in the wee hours of the morning outside Entebbe, Uganda. The cab brought me to a makeshift eco-tourist site with pirogues. In the hour and a half I was with this bird, it took but two steps. Its energies were focused on finding the next lungfish meal.