- Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 08:27
The Shoebill Balaeniceps rex. An African endemic family, with one species of rather limited distribution., considered as globally vulnerable (IUCN, 2010)
It is very uncommon resident. It occurs in the Middle Akagera Basin and it were occasionally observed along the Nyabarongo River, in Bugesera region. It inhabits most typically extensive areas of floating meadows and edges of tall reed beds or papyrus, where it hunts solitarily along channels or small patches of open water. It is a quiet bird, moving very slowly and able to stand motionless for long periods. In the Akagera swamps its main food item seems to be a small catfish Clarias liocephalus, in the flooded plains the larger catfish Clarias gariepinnus. It never penetrates inside tall vegetation. It lives solitarily or in pairs, sometimes in loose groups of five or six birds, and concentrations of up to 10 birds have been watched along a single channel. The species can be seen throughout the year, but its numbers seem to vary seasonally
Source: Aurélien 1957b; Curry-Lindahl 1961; Schouteden 1966; Vande weghe 1981, 1985; Vande Weghe 2011; Dejace & Vande weghe 1991.