a large, African, storklike bird, Balaeniceps rex, having a broad, flattened bill shaped somewhat like a shoe.

1870–75; shoe + bill2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shoebill (ˈʃuːˌbɪl)
a large wading bird, Balaeniceps rex, of tropical E African swamps, having a dark plumage, a large head, and a large broad bill: family Balaenicipitidae, order Ciconiiformes
[C19: so named because of the shape of its bill]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica


(species Balaeniceps rex), large African wading bird, a single species that constitutes the family Balaenicipitidae (order Ciconiiformes). Shoebills stand about 115 cm (3.5 feet) tall. They are entirely gray, with broad wings and long legs. The head is large in proportion to the body, and the bill is wide and thick, shaped as the bird's name implies. Shoebills fly with the head held back against the body, as do herons and pelicans. They eat small fishes and other aquatic animals. They nest on the ground and lay either one or two eggs. Shoebills inhabit swampy regions in and around the White Nile area of northeastern Africa

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for shoebill
A large lagoon is home to numerous species of waterfowl, among them shoebill storks.
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