BGD (Beautiful God Daughter) and I visited the zoo on one of the last
days of truly nice weather ... not much heat and very little humidity.
Days like that are few and far between this time of year.
We got to the zoo when the gates opened at 9:30 AM.
Had lunch at Twiga in the African Forest.
Walked and walked and walked
(and I had been to the gym that morning).
We visited with this fellow.
Amazing, isn't he?!!!!
|Shoebill at the Houston Zoo|
The Shoebill is named for its clog-shaped bill, which is an adaptation for catching and holding the large, slippery lungfish, its favorite food. This big bird (standing about 3.8 feet tall) also eats turtles, fish and young crocodiles.
They are entirely gray, with broad wings and long legs. The head is large in proportion to the body and the eyes are large.
The Shoebill is a solitary species, rarely found in groups.
Other common names for Shoebills include Shoe-billed Stork, Whale-headed Stork, Bog Bird.Though most consider it as a stork, the Shoebill's antecedents are unclear, and no relatives are known. Shoebills have their own family, Balaenicipitidae. Although they share some characteristics of storks, they are more like the herons in many of their behaviors and physiological features, yet also share common characteristics with pelicans. The population of Shoebills is thought to number 5,000-8,000 but is difficult to estimate given the swampy/marshy habitat in the Sudan, Africa.
The Houston Zoo is well known in zoo circles for its bird collection.
Enjoy your holiday weekend!
Wishing you well.