The Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta umbretta) is an African water bird. Hamerkop means hammer head, because its head looks like a hammer.
The Hamerkop is brown all over with a short neck and crest on its head that looks like a hammer. It has a black beak and long black legs.
It can grow to 56 centimetres (22 inches) tall.
The Hamerkop feeds on fish in shallow waters. It is often found alone or in small groups.
It builds a massive nest in a tree or on a rock. The nest can measure 150 centimeters (59 inches) across. Both the male and female parent builds the nest held together with mud. The round tunnel entrance at the bottom of the nest leads to a nesting chamber. A nest can take 10-14 weeks to make.
Females lay 3-7 eggs. Both parents sit on the eggs, which hatch after about 30 days. Both parents feed the chicks. They leave the nest after 44-50 days.
Some scientists think that the Hamerkop is related to the stork, whereas other scientists think that the Hamerkop is related to the pelican.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM