Beak of the Week: Hoopoe

Though I saw my true “spark bird” at the young age of six, I must credit the Hoopoe with reinvigorating my passion for birds at an adult age.

Hoopoe, Upupa epops

Common Name: Hoopoe; Upupa

Latin Name: Upupa epops

Range:  Europe, Asia, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Madagascar.

Habitat: Found in a wide range of ecosystems including heathland, wooded steppes, savannahs, grasslands and forests. Commonly found in olive groves, orchards, vineyards, parklands, and farmlands.

Diet: Mostly insects. Occasionally eats small reptiles, amphibians, seeds and berries.

Hungry, hungry, Hoopoe!!!

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Hip Hoopoe Happenings!

  • Hoopoes are represented in several mythologies, including Egyptian, Arabic, and Greek.
  • Hoopoes are protected under the law in several countries. Their insect-based diet makes them highly susceptible to the use of pesticides.
  • Hoopoes have foul smelling nests reminiscent of rotting meat. It is believed this is to detour predators as well as attract insects for food.
Eurasian hoopoe, male feeding female in courtship display.

Happy Birding!

Danielle + Michelle


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