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Hoopoe

Hoopoe
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Upupidae
Genus: Upupa
Species: epops
Binomial name
Upupa epops

The Hoopoe Upupa epops is in the same order of often colourful near passerine birds as the kingfishers, bee-eaters, and rollers.

However, in the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, Hoopoe is separated from the Coraciiformes as a separate order Upupiformes.

Hoopoes are widespread in Europe Asia and North Africa. They migrate from all but the southernmost part of their range to the tropics in winter.

Their habitat is open cultivated ground with short grass or bare patches. They spend much time on the ground hunting insects and worms.

This black, white and pink bird is quite unmistakeable, especially in its erratic flight, like a giant butterfly. The crest is erectile, but is mostly kept closed. It walks on the ground like a starling.

The song is a trisyllabic “oop-oop-oop”, which gives rise to its English and scientific names.

The nest is in a hole in a tree or wall. Like those of its relatives the kingfishers, the nest tends to be smelly and insanitary.

The long-extinct Giant Hoopoe, U. anaios lived on the island of St Helena.



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