Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos



The backward-pointing crest of the hammerkop gives it its alternate name: hammerhead. Found in the woodlands and wetlands of Africa, the hammerkop is a wading bird famous for its enormous, domed nest. The birds plaster the inside walls of their home with mud.

Look for the nest made by our hammerkops in the Wings of the World aviary near the Safari Park’s entrance. These nests often weigh up to 100 pounds. Can you see the nest's entrance hole on the side? The hammerkops live inside their nest, not on top of it. Other birds might build nests on top of the hammerkops' nest!

Hammerkops have magical significance in Africa, and it’s considered bad luck to harm them. This may be one of the reasons they are not endangered! It’s said that hammerkops are the origin of more myths than any other bird.

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