About Maximapedia

Hammer-Kop

HAMMER-KOP, or HAMMERHEAD, an African bird, which has been regarded as a stork and as a heron, the Scopus umbrella of ornithologists, called the " Umbre " by T. Pennant, now placed in a separate family Scopidae between the herons and storks. It was discovered by M. Adanson, the French traveller, in Senegal about the middle of the 1pth century, and was described by M. J. Brisson in 1760. It has since been found to inhabit nearly the whole of Africa and Madagascar, and is the " hammerkop " (hammerhead) of the Cape colonists. Though not larger than a raven, it builds an enormous nest, some six feet in diameter, with a flat-topped roof and a small hole for entrance and exit, and placed either on a tree or a rocky ledge. The bird, of an almost uniform brown colour, slightly glossed with purple and its tail barred with black, has a long occipital crest, generally borne horizontally, so as to give rise to its common name. It is somewhat sluggish by day, but displays much activity at dusk, when it will go through a series of strange performances. (A. N.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | GDPR