Thursday, June 12, 2014


The hamerkop, also known as the hammerkop and hammerhead, is a very unusual bird I saw on the bank of the Ewaso Nyiro River in Sabo National Reserve, northern Kenya.
The hamerkop's pointed crest on the back of its head is fluffed out in this photo.
It is fluffed out even more in this photo. 
It has such unique characteristics that it is in its own genus and family. The shape of the head, with a long bill on one end, and a pointed crest on the other end, together create the impression of a hammer and give the bird its name. 
I'm using this picture of a hamerkop from Wikipedia to give a better representation of the bird as my own pictures are fuzzy. 
It is found in Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and on the southwest coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It has brown plumage with purple iridescence on the back. 
It has partially webbed feet. It has a number of unusual behaviors, that I won't go into, that are unique to it. The hamerkop's scientific name, scopus umbretta, was used by Scopus, a database of abstracts and citations for scholarly journal articles. It was apparently named after the hamerkop because of its unusual navigation skills. 
This hamerkop mixes in with African sacred ibises.

1 comment:

  1. Somewhat like the 50s slicked-back hairdos (think Kenickie in "Grease").