A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.
Shoebill: Today’s strange animal is the Shoebill (also known as Whalehead) with its name deriving from its massive shoe-shaped bill. They live in the tropical east Africa and are mainly found in swamps ranging from Sudan to Zambia. They are very large stork-like birds. Shoebills are solitary animals that hardly ever form groups. Even the breeding pairs are rarely seen together. These animals remain silent for the most part of their lives although they sometimes participate in “bill-clattering,” which they maily employ as a greeting sound near the nest. Shoebills are carnivorous animals, usually hunting in shallow, muddy waters with their favorite spots being waters that have little oxygen. In these waters fish have to surface more often and as a result hunting becomes much easier. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2011/09/shoebill.html#ixzz4YE1FL900)
He doesn’t much like hanging out—
But likes to fish (does he like trout?).
He is a very lonely guy
Who finds it troublesome to fly—
See, taking off’s the hardest part—
And sometimes he just has no heart
To make the effort—reach the sky.
He’ll take off later, by and by.
This bird is not a mystery—
When I see him, I think of me.