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Hamerkop

Scopus umbretta

Range

  • Central & South Africa

Habitat

  • African & Arabian wetlands

Diet

  • Frogs
  • Tadpoles
  • Small fish
  • Worms
  • Insects
  • Shrimp

Named “hammer head” by the Dutch, this carnivore wades the wetlands of tropical Africa for its meals of amphibians, fish, and insects.

This bird builds one of the largest nests. Up to five feet across, these enormous dome-shaped nests are made of thousands of twigs and decorated with brightly-colored objects, bones, and cloth. The nest creates enough interior space to house both parents and 5-7 eggs; the eggs are laid deep within the nest in a mud-walled chamber. Old nests are used by other birds and animals as shelters or nests of their own.

 

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