The Hamerkop Scopus umbretta is distinctive by the unique shape of its head. It is also called Hammerkop, Hammerkopf, Hammerhead, Hammerhead Stork, Umbrette, Umber Bird, Tufted Umber, or Anvilhead, Clearly all these name impart the fact that its head look like a hammer or anvil. It is a medium sized wading bird from Madagascar and Africa south of the Sahara. It has partially webbed feet.
Its genus
Scopus and its family Scopidae have only a single species, the Hammerkop.
Hammerkops have a number of unusual behaviors including joining together in groups of 10 or more for “ceremonies” in which they circle around each other; “false mounting” where one stand on top of another without mating; and the building of huge nests up to 1.5 meters across sometimes made of up to 10,000 sticks. The construct 3 to 5 of these per year. The following illustration shows the size of these nests relative to the bird.

These photo were taken at the San Diego Zoo. Other Hammerkop photos are available in the web site.