Scopus umbretta

Size: 55 cm long
Habitat: Wetlands, mainly inland
Feeding: Frogs, fish, invertebrates

The Hamerkop is an aquatic bird, sometimes called Hammerhead or Umber Bird. It is chocolate brown in colour with a short neck and legs which make it looked rather "hunched". It has a crest of feathers which project backwards rather than upwards.

The most unusual behaviour of these birds is the compulsive nest building. They create enormous nests made of twigs, more than 1 metre wide and able to support the weight of a man. They build several of these nests each year, even when they are not breeding!

This photo was taken in the Selous National Park, Tanzania.







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