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Hoopoe

About Hoopoe

This bird has a long, slim, tapering, slightly downcurved bill and a large crest with barred edge, erected when excited; head, most of crest and body pinkish-brown; wings heavily barred black and white; belly and rump white; tail black with white band; bill and legs gray; eyes brown.

This bird nests in a hole in the trees, a tree stump, walls of old buildings, cliffs, or among the rocks, sometimes in nest boxes. They have 4-8 gray, pale yellow or olive eggs, incubated by the female for 16-18 days. Chicks are raised by both the male and female.

This bird has a patterened body and is a familiar bird thourghout its range. It is perfectly happy to live with humans. All this bird needs is an area of short grass, or some soft soil where it can feed, some trees and other sites where it can find nesting holes.

Hoopoes are often digging for insects with their long bills into soft ground, also among leaf-litter, garbage, and dried out animal dung. These birds are not usually sociable. They feed alone or in pairs. They will breed apart from others and then defend their nests. They communicate their mood by adjusting the position of their prominent crest; they lower it when they are relaxed.

The hoopoe is hard to see when it is on the ground, but when it takes off flying it does so by wingbeats like a huge butterfly.