|Copyright: Sujoy Bhawal (sujoybhawal)
|Date Taken: 2012-02-17|
|Camera: Canon 7D|
|Exposure: f/8, 1/640 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2013-04-04 5:35|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Taken at Kruger National Park.|
The Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta), also known as Hammerkop, Hammerkopf, Hammerhead, Hammerhead Stork, Umbrette, Umber Bird, Tufted Umber, or Anvilhead, is a medium-sized wading bird (56 cm long, weighing 470 g). The shape of its head with a curved bill and crest at the back is reminiscent of a hammer, hence its name. It ranges from Africa, Madagascar to Arabia, in wetlands of a wide variety, including estuaries, lakesides, fish pond, riverbanks and rocky coasts in Tanzania. The Hamerkop, which is a sedentary bird that often show local movements, is not globally threatened and is locally abundant in Africa and Madagascar.
Its plumage is a drab brown with purple iridescence on the back (the subspecies S. u. minor is darker). The bill is long, flat, and slightly hooked. The neck and legs are shorter than those of most of the Ciconiiformes. The Hamerkop has partially webbed feet, for unknown reasons. It middle toe is comb-like (pectinated) like a heron's. Its tail is short and its wings are big, wide, and round-tipped; it soars well. When it does so, it stretches its neck forward like a stork or ibis, but when it flaps, it coils its neck back something like a heron.
Vocalisations include cackles and a shrill call given in flight. Hamerkops are mostly silent except when in groups
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