Hamerkop

Latin Name
Scopus umbretta

Class
Birds

Order
Ciconiiformes

Description

The hamerkop is named for its distinctive head, which combines a thick bill with a pointed wedge of feathers on the back of the head, making it resemble a hammer. The species can reach nearly two feet in length, and both genders display brown feathers.


 

Range

Sub-Saharan Africa


Status

Common. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Hamerkop Stork Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


Habitat

Wetland habitats, including the shores of lakes and rivers


Niche

The hamerkop uses its sturdy bill to catch fish, frogs, rodents and other small animals.


Life History

The hamerkop is known for its large nest, made from sticks, which can reach up to eight feet in size. Built in the treetops of the savanna, the nest is re-used every year, becoming larger as the hamerkop makes annual additions.




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Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibit