365 Days | From 9am till sunset


Adopt it!

Scientific Name:

Scopus umbretta


Tropical Africa, SW Arabia, Madagascar.


Carnivore. Mostly amphibians (frogs and tadpoles), small fish, crustaceans, worms, insects.


Habitat:  Wide variety of wetlands with trees for nesting and roosting.

Incubation: 28-32 days / 3-6 eggs

Social structure: typically couples or 8-10 birds, up to 50 birds

Weight: 430gr max

Dimensions: 50-56cm

Lifespan: ~20 

Population in the wild: common or abundant.

Threats: potentially threatened by a deterioration in wetland water quality caused by the excessive use of pesticides, hunted and traded at traditional medicine markets.

IUCN Status: Least concern

Did you know that:

  1. They are often seen perching on the back of hippopotamuses, searching for frogs.
  2. According to superstitions, hamerkops are bad omens, and it is considered bad luck to harm them. Such superstitions keep them somewhat protected.
  3. They are known for their extraordinarily elaborate large nest, constructed with ~8.000 items (e.g. sticks, leaves, mud). Τhe nest is so strong that it can hold an adult man’s weight. The entrance tunnel is ~60cm long and the nestling chamber is 40cm wide and 60cm tall. It weighs as much as 100 hamerkops and reaches up to 2m in diameter.
  4. They can build as many as 5 nests in a year!
  5. The nests of hamerkops are known to be used by other animals including bees, reptiles, small mammals (such as genets) and other bird species like barn owls.

Search our animals :

Search our animals alphabetically