Hamerkop ( Scopus umbretta, family: Scopidae)

Kruger Park HamerkopThe Hamerkop (Latin name Scopus umbretta) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 81 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 603 also a picture of the Hamerkop on page 593. The Hamerkop belongs to the family of birds classified as Scopidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Hamerkop is also known by these other names: Hammer-head Stork.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified.

The Hamerkop is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Hamerkop in the Kruger National Park you may see it in all areas.

The Hamerkop is a largish bird about the same size as a Pied Crow. The height of the Hamerkop is about 56 cms and its weight is about 535 gms

The male and female Hamerkop have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is umber.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is umber.
  • Back is umber.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Hamerkop feeds on the ground mainly

General scavenger habits

Smaller animals and aquatic life forms.

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

Hamerkop Nest in Kruger National park The Hamerkop is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Scopus umbretta will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Hamerkop is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub or on the ground or on close to water. The bird lays eggs which are brown in colour and number between 3 to 9. Take a look at this nest here ... picture taken on morning walk close to N'wanetsi River at Satara. The Hamerkop only uses the nest once which sems a bit of a waste if you take a look at the work that must have been involved in building such a large and complex nest.

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Hamerkop are: wetlands. The bird prefers to act singly or in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Uqhimngqoshe/Uthekwane

Zulu ... uThekwane

Afrikaans ...Hamerkop

German ... Hammerkopf

Portuguese ... Pssaro-martelo

French ... Ombrette africaine

Dutch ... Hamerkop

First bird in list | Previous bird viewed | Next KNP bird | Last bird in list

For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 81

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za