Hamerkops are relatives of herons, storks and flamingos. They are so named because of their ‘hammer like’ head.
Size: 50 - 56cm
Weight: 400 - 430g
Hamerkops are found throughout most of Africa and Madagascar. They favour slowly running streams and rivers, lakes and marshes.
Hamerkops feed mainly on frogs and tadpoles but will also eat fish and aquatic insects. They mainly hunt in the evening.
Hamerkops are remarkable for their gigantic nests, which can be as big as 1.8m (6 foot) in diameter! These are usually built in tree forks near water. In the inside compartment of the nest, they lay 3 - 6 small whitish eggs.
The hamerkop is not classed as endangered, however they are threatened by pollution from pesticides and hunting for traditional medicine in Nigeria.