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Hamerkop

Scopus umbretta

Description:

Medium sized wader, standing at some 50 cm of height. Easily recognizable, this is an all brown bird with a diagnostic and really unique head in a form of anvil or hammer (which is the origin of the name - hammerkopf, hammerkop, anvilhead).

Habitat:

Hamerkop is an African sedentary bird, abundant all over continent, including Madagascar, but also some parts of Arabian peninsula. I saw it often in Ethiopia, in all regions (highlands and semi-desertic lowlands), but usually close to water bodies - lakes, (like is the case of this spotting - lake Awasa, or Hawasa; true birdwatcher paradise); or birkads and ponds in drier zones. Indeed, hamerkop thrives in shallow waters, where it forages.

Notes:

The origins and classification of this bird are still mysterious - it is the only member of the family Scopidae, and the family is sometimes classified within the Ciconiiformes order, and more often, Pelecaniformes order.

No species ID suggestions

2 Comments

SukanyaDatta
SukanyaDatta 8 months ago

This is one of the birds I want to see...I read somewhere that its nest can support the weight of a human being! Wow. Thanks for sharing.

Brian38
Brian38 8 months ago

Nice spotting Zlatan!

Southern Nations, Ethiopia

Lat: 7.08, Long: 38.47

Spotted on May 17, 2002
Submitted on Feb 11, 2018

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