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Bizarre shoebill bird with eerie bird call is leaving people terrified

Bizarre shoebill bird with eerie bird call is leaving people terrified

This will keep you up at night.

The latest unlikely viral star is a bird that has left people thinking it's a 'man in a Halloween costume'.

Named after its foot-long bill, which looks like a clog shoe, along with a very serious stare, the shoebill has a very unforgettable appearance, to put it nicely.

This long-legged bird has a stork-like appearance that are native to tropical East Africa in large swamps from South Sudan to Zambia.

Shoebills are incredibly large and reach up to five feet tall with an eight-foot wingspan and with their yellow eyes, grey feathers and exceptionally large feet with a big toe reaching up to 7.3 inches it’s no surprise people are terrified.

You wouldn't want to be in a staring contest with one, would you?

Shoebills have left social media users terrified. / Alamy Stock Photo

A Twitter account recently shared two pictures of shoebill birds, with one photograph showing a bird literally glaring straight into the camera.

Shoebills are actually renowned for their slow movements and their ‘statue-like’ tendencies to stay still for long periods of time.

While it may be a frightening sight for some unsuspecting Twitter users, the fact they stand still for such a long time makes them the perfect ‘models’ for bird watchers.

“My dude looking like a Halloween costume the day after Halloween,” one Twitter user replied to the pictures.


“The sound they make is horrifying too. it sounds like a chattering skeleton,” a terrified social media user tweeted in response.

Someone else who was left feeling uneasy by their sound was a person who tweeted: “When they come in contact with each other or even with a threat, they can make a sound with their beaks that sounds much like an automatic weapon.”

The frightening noise social media users are reporting refers to the bill-clattering sound they make when greeting other birds and during nesting.

In order to keep cool, shoebills use a technique called gular-fluttering which involves vibrating the throat muscles to dissipate heat. Take a listen, if you dare:

One person penned: “I’m not so sure that we’re not being pranked here. Looks like a guy in a weird bird costume.”

A Twitter user quipped: “Alright, so this is terrifying. Thanks for that."

Another Twitter user purporting to be a shoebill, replied: “My statue-like behaviour is one of my best traits.”

These prehistoric-looking birds can stay motionless for hours, which would actually make them the perfect candidates for queuing or waiting for public transport.

While shoebills were once classified as storks because of their similar long necks and legs, their closest relatives are actually pelicans and they eat big fish like lungfish, eels and catfish.

Shoebills are known for their ability to stand still.
Ruth Craine / Alamy Stock Photo

Breeding pairs are monogamous and they reach maturity at three to four years old. Both parents tend to eggs and their chicks, which have a lighter coloured bill.

Despite their appearance, we should all be thankful they’re still around because according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, there are only between 3,300 and 5,300 of them left in the world and their population is decreasing.

That being said, we probably wouldn't want to run into one...

Featured Image Credit: llukee / Alamy Stock Photo / Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Animals, World News