The Humble Hamerkop ..

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta),

Hammerkop, Hammerkopf, Hammerhead, Hammerhead Stork, Umbrette, Umber Bird, Tufted Umber, or Anvilhead, the many names by which this bird is known. It is a medium-sized wading bird. The shape of its head and crest at the back is reminiscent of a hammer, hence its name.

It is found in Africa, Madagascar to Arabia, in wetlands of a wide variety, including estuaries, lakesides, fish pond, riverbanks and rocky coasts in Tanzania.

The food is typical of long-legged wading birds, the most important is amphibians. They also eat fish, shrimp, insects and rodents. They walk in shallow water looking for prey, shuffling one foot at a time on the bottom or suddenly opening their wings to flush prey out of hiding.

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24 thoughts on “The Humble Hamerkop ..

  1. I know at least I heard hammerhead fish but stork! They are so lovely… acting same… and their colours so beautiful too. I loved them. Thank you, love, nia

  2. It certainly does have an odd shaped head – but it’s a cut little fella and very well camouflaged by it’s surroundings. These are great pics, it must be hard to get them to behave and not take off when they see you (not that I’m saying you’re scary or anything…)

  3. Lovely .. has nearly a head of a duck … very pretty bird, even if it doesn’t have any stunning colors. Doesn’t look that big .. the middle photo is my favorite. Great shots again.

  4. What an unusually shaped little bird, such clear photos bulldog, very nice, amazing markings on its beak!

  5. I thought at first this was going to be about sharks (hammerhead). So we have birds with hammerheads too. I like the detail you added about how they open their wings suddenly to flush out their prey. Very smart of them.

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