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