Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
12 January 2014
Unique among birds, Hamerkop is placed in its own monotypic family. I had seen this species before going to Ethiopia, but only in flight, and I was anxious to get better looks at it. That proved to be very easy, for the bird was commonly found at many locations on our journey through Ethiopia.
I saw one pair engaged in the construction of the giant nest for which the species is renowned and which is often shared with birds of prey.
Hamerkop has been the stuff of legend, often being considered magical or even sinister, but there is little evidence of persecution.
It certainly is a very interesting species to observe.