Friday, 4 July 2014

Hammerkop Fishing Techniques

A Hammerkop patiently awaits a passing fish or amphibian.
Commonly seen by the rivers, lake sides and waterholes across Kenya, the Hammerkop's unique shape and colour make it quite unmistakable when spotted. 
Its diet consists of small aquatic life such as fish, frogs and insects, and i have come to notice that this bird actually has Two very different and unique feeding methods dependent on its chosen feeding area.  

In the first method, which is used in waters that are quite stagnant such as ponds and waterholes, the Hammerkop wades through the water-body dragging its feet heavily on the bottom to stir up its prey. Once spotted it strikes, or at times, it opens its wings slightly to guide the victim into its preferred striking angle. 

In the second method (Photographed above) the Hammerkop stands perfectly still and waits patiently for a fish or insect to simply be brought to it by the current. This technique is preferred in faster moving streams and rivers.

Both techniques are very unique and both seem to make it quite successful at fishing.

A Hammerkop stirs up the bottom of a stagnant pond with its feet to flush out hidden prey

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