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Harlequin Duck

  • Histrionicus histrionicus
  • Ducks & Geese
Hairy Woodpecker

About the Hamerkop

Also known as: Hammerkop,Hammerkopf, Hammerhead, Hammerhead Stork, Umbrette, Umber Bird, Tufted Umber, Anvilhead

The Hamerkop (or Hammerhead) is a stunning bird that can be found in sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and southwest Arabia. The shape of its head, with the crest and large bill is reminiscent of a hammer, from which it gets its name. It has the unusual behavior to gather in groups of up to ten birds and run around in circles, calling loudly and raising their crests. Another interesting behavior is the size of their nests, which can be more than 5 feet across.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 05 January 2010
Scientific Name Scopus umbretta
  • Pelecaniformes
  • Scopidae
  • Scopus
  • S. umbretta
Birdorable Family Waterbirds
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 27 July 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
22 inches
16.5 ounces
Range West Africa Central Africa East Africa South Africa

International Names

  • kladivouš africký (Czech)
  • Hammerhoved (Danish)
  • Hamerkop (Dutch)
  • Vasarapäähaikara (Finnish)
  • Ombrette africaine (French)
  • Hammerkopf (German)
  • Uccello Martello (Italian)
  • シュモクドリ (Shumokudori) (Japanese)
  • Waruga (Polish)
  • Молотоглав (Russian)
  • Avemartillo (Spanish)
  • Skuggstork (Swedish)

Related articles

Introducing the Birdorable Hamerkop

Introducing the Birdorable Hamerkop

The first new Birdorable bird of 2010 is this Hamerkop, a bird that lives in sub-Saharan Africa. They get their name from their hammer-shaped heads and they are also known as Hammerhead ... more