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The Hoopoe Bird

Updated on August 22, 2016
 By author is ulrich prokop (Scops) - Scops, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=380262
By author is ulrich prokop (Scops) - Scops, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=380262 | Source

The Hoopoe is an amazing bird. They can be found in Asia, Africa, Europe and Madagascar. They will adapt very well to their surroundings. They will make their home in savannas, grasslands, wooded areas and forests.


Hoopoe Bird

By Artemy Voikhansky - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32675550
By Artemy Voikhansky - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32675550 | Source

Their habitat must be bare or have very little vegetation so they can find food on the ground. They will stick their long bill in the ground looking for insects.

They will sometimes eat reptiles, frogs, seeds and berries. They will sometimes catch food in mid-air.

Their preferred diet is locusts, crickets, earwigs, beetles and ants.

They have a very strong, curved bill that is black. Their strong, curved beak is great for finding food on the ground. They can open their strong bill while it is stuck in the ground.


 By Arturo Nikolai - originally posted to Flickr as ABUBILLA (Upupa epops), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3914305
By Arturo Nikolai - originally posted to Flickr as ABUBILLA (Upupa epops), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3914305 | Source

They also need places with cavities like trees, cliffs, haystacks and abandoned burrows where they can nest.

The Hoopoe female sits on the eggs until the hatch. While the female is sitting on the eggs the male brings her food. The eggs usually hatch in 15 to 18 days.


  By Dûrzan cîrano - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10009815
By Dûrzan cîrano - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10009815 | Source

The Hoopoe is usually 9.8 to 12.6 inches long and they will weigh 1.6 to 3.1 ounces. They will have a wingspan of 17.3 to 19 inches.


By Nitulakshmi - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30606397
By Nitulakshmi - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30606397 | Source

The Hoopoe's body is covered with beautiful colored feathers that are in unusual patters. They are a cinnamon to a chestnut color. Their wings and tail will have black and white stripes on them. They will have a beautiful crest on their head.


By J.M.Garg - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3049206
By J.M.Garg - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3049206 | Source

The Hoopoe loves to take dust baths in the sun. They will spread their wings and tail and put their head back and stay above the ground. There are Hoopoe subspecies that will migrate. They have very strong wings and live in the temperate climates. Whey they fly the motion of their wings resembles a butterfly in flight.


By Jaiprakashsingh - taken in al mamzar park, Dubai, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25918554
By Jaiprakashsingh - taken in al mamzar park, Dubai, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25918554 | Source

A Hoopoe territory is often populated by a male and a female. The territory will be defended by the male Hoopoe. Sometimes the fights between two male Hoopoe's will become very violent. Many ties there are eye injuries that will cause the loss of sight in the injured eye.


 By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32030478
By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32030478 | Source

The female Hoopoe has a gland called the uropygial gland. The liquid that is secreted by this gland smells like rotten meat. Most predators will not get near the nest because the smell is so bad. The rotten smell has a positive purpose because it attracts insects that the Hoopoe will eat. This makes for an easy dinner.


 Hundreds of years ago the Hoopoe was considered sacred in Egypt.  In Ancient Egypt the Hoopoe was a very popular as a pet for children. The Egyptians often had the Hoopoe in their wildlife paintings.  They would also put them on the walls of temples
Hundreds of years ago the Hoopoe was considered sacred in Egypt. In Ancient Egypt the Hoopoe was a very popular as a pet for children. The Egyptians often had the Hoopoe in their wildlife paintings. They would also put them on the walls of temples | Source

Israel stated using the Hoopoe as their national bird in 2008. This was also the year of Israels 60th anniversary.


By Thomas Pennant - This image is available from the National Library of Wales, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46334625
By Thomas Pennant - This image is available from the National Library of Wales, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46334625 | Source

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    • norlawrence profile image
      Author

      Norma Lawrence 13 months ago from California

      I sure hope you do. That would be great. They are neat looking birds. I will do more research and add to this Hub. Thanks

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 13 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      There are many more things about the hoopoe that make it even more remarkable. My plan is to meet some of them.

    • norlawrence profile image
      Author

      Norma Lawrence 13 months ago from California

      Thank you. They are beautiful.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alrighty then. I just learned something new. I have never heard of this bird but my goodness, it is a beauty. So interesting!!!

    • norlawrence profile image
      Author

      Norma Lawrence 13 months ago from California

      They are beautiful birds. I amazes me how many beautiful birds there are. Thank you

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 13 months ago from Texas

      Norma, these beautiful birds would be most welcome here in Texas.

      Thank you for sharing them.

      Blessings my friend.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 13 months ago from England

      Jeesh, sorry! I forgot your name was Norma, I was calling you Lawrence! lol!

    • norlawrence profile image
      Author

      Norma Lawrence 13 months ago from California

      They are amazing. There are so many different species of birds. The list seems endless. Thanks

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 13 months ago from England

      They are amazing aren't they? it never fails to amaze me the different types of birds out there! really interesting!

    • norlawrence profile image
      Author

      Norma Lawrence 14 months ago from California

      Thanks for comment. The are unusual and pretty but strange looking.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 14 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      They are such unusual looking birds, their markings are quite remarkable. We don't have any in our part of the world, but I have seen them elsewhere. The part you wrote about them in Egypt was interesting and I love all the images.