Meet Hamish and Henrietta Hamerkop

Their name is Africaans for ‘“Hammer” because their heads look like, well, you know.

The featured photo is of Henrietta building her current nest. And the photo below shows the two of them building the nest together!

Why is this so important? Well, it seems that Hamerkops spend a lot of time building nests. The nest you see below will eventually be domed, with a secret egg chamber inside and a tunnel for reaching them.

But the real mind+blower is that Hamish and Henriette build as many as 4-5 nests every year! This becomes an an important ecosystem-center in time, as all manner of birds and other creatures use the nests and cozy up near them.

Go figure. I am indebted to the wonderful people and creatures at McNeil Avian Center for my photographs and encourage every bird lover to go. THANKS SO MUCH, McNeil! Consider contributing toward Hamerkop environmental preservation. Thanks!

Buy prints of photo #1, featured above

Buy prints of photo #2, featured below

Nest-Building Hamerkops
#2 in a collection of 2 photographs. You can get some idea of the scale of Henrietta’s and Hamish’s nest here. The Hamerkops themselves are big birds, about the size of Ravens or Pileated Woodpeckers, and their nest, which will eventually be domed and lined, is about half’done.


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