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.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 05 January 2010
Scientific Name
Scopus umbretta
  • Pelecaniformes
  • Scopidae
  • Scopus
  • S. umbretta
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 5 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
22 inches
16.5 ounces


International Names

Czech (Cesky) kladivouš africký
Danish (Dansk) Hammerhoved
Dutch (Nederlands) Hamerkop
Finnish (Suomi) Vasarapäähaikara
French (Français) Ombrette africaine
German (Deutsch) Hammerkopf
Italian (Italiano) Uccello Martello
Japanese (日本語) シュモクドリ (Shumokudori)
Polish (Polski) Waruga
Russian (русский язык) Молотоглав
Spanish (Español) Avemartillo
Swedish (Svenska) Skuggstork
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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