Shoebill, or Whalehead, a large bird of eastern Africa. The shoebill stands about 50 inches (1.3 m) high on long, thin legs. It has a large head with a huge, flattened bill that somewhat resembles a man's shoe. The shoebill has blue-gray plumage and a small crest of feathers at the nape of its neck.
The shoebill, which lives mostly on land, flies only short distances. It lives in swampy areas where it wades in water in search of such food as fish and frogs. The shoebill makes its nest on the ground out of water plants it gathers together into a mound about three feet (90 cm) high.
The shoebill is Balaeniceps rex of the family Balaenicipitidae.