Eurasian Hoopoe

The beautiful Eurasian Hoopoe with a crown

Eurasian Hoopoe is a common bird widely found across the length and breath of India. It is seen in daytime hunting insects in the ground with its beak. They are a distinctive bird species with a crown of feathers on the head and a long curved beak.

Types and habitat

There are three species of this bird, one which is found across South Africa and hence called African Hoopoe and other is the Eurasian one which is found across Europe, Asia and North Africa. The third species is found on the island of Madagascar only. All three types are almost similar except for slight difference in the colour and design of feathers.

Hoopoes need open ground with slight vegetation to feed on insects and vertical spaces like cliffs, trees or even walls to make a nest.

Feeding

Most favourite food of the Eurasian hoopoe is insects and larvae just below the ground. To hunt them it digs the beak into the ground and splits the mud open. That is why it has a curved beak and strong head. It also eats insects off the ground and between leaves. Its primary food is what farmers considers as pests. These birds also do not shy from humans. Though they feed on ground, at any sign of danger, they reach to the safety of trees. Apart from insects, they also feed on seeds, berries and small reptiles. Some of the stronger birds might get adventurous and catch insects mid air.

Eurasian Hoopoe

Other interesting facts

It is easy to mistaken the hoopoe for a woodpecker. It has a song like call sounding like hoo-hoo-hoo from which it might had got the name.

As a protection against predators, the female secretes a liquid which smells like rotten meat. Even after the chicks are hatched, the nest continues to smell bad.

Hoopoes were considered sacred in ancient Egypt and found in many drawings. They also find mention in similar old cultures all over the world.

Eurasian Hoopoe is the national bird of Israel.

common hoopoe

Hoopoe is silent, elegant and beautiful design among all the birds featured in thetimelock.

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