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).
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.
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.
Lat: 7.08, Long: 38.47
Spotted on May 17, 2002
Submitted on Feb 11, 2018