Stork (Hamerkop) / Scopus umbretta

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The hamerkop’s nest often measures more than 2 metres wide

The hamerkop has an all brown body with a characteristic head and bill. It also has partially webbed toes, a short tail and very large wings for its size. It also has a distinctive crest at the back of the head. Also known as the anvil head it feeds on frogs, tadpoles, fish and invertebrates.

In eastern Africa they appear to breed all year round although in other areas they normally breed during the dry season. Hamerkops are famous for their unusually large nests which they build of sticks , mud, and grass. The nest can often weigh over one hundred times the weight of the bird. After building this huge nest the female lays 3-6 eggs which are incubated form 28-32 days. The chicks of the Hamerkop fledge from the nest after about 50 days.