Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) is a medium sized bird of generally rufous plumage. It has barred black and white wings and tail. Its presentation is characterized by a long, curved bill for searching and digging insects from the ground. Male and female are of very similar plumage, almost alike while their juveniles are much duller.
Another very special thing about this unique bird is its flight in which it half closes the wings after each stroke, almost like a big butterfly. In addition, there is that fantastic crest which is usually held flat. When excited, alerted or frightened, Hoopoe raises it to form a beautiful plume.
This bird likes bare or scarcely vegetated ground for foraging and various cavities in trees, haystacks and abandoned burrows for nesting.
It is a lone forager that feeds on the ground. You can see it in the low grass while intensively pounding its bill into the soil and digging insects. Its diet consists also of seeds, berries and even reptiles and frogs.
This butterfly among the birds isn't very »social«. It can bee seen alone, only rarely in pairs. A breeding pair may last only for one season. Female lays up to 8 eggs and incubate them for 18 days.
In Slovenia, Hoopoe is considered rare. So every encounter with this beautiful bird is a very valuable one. Below you can see some pictures that I took this year. I was very lucky to get quite close due to the bird's foraging frenzy. If only its movement weren't so twitching and erratic. ;)
Although this Hoopoe clearly saw me, it let me quite close due to its foraging frenzy.
Check out its long, curved bill. Insects beware.
For those interested in this avian beauty some links for
Courtesy of Secrets of Nature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G06qiyYtPyc
Courtesy of xeno-canto: http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Upupa-epops
All images © 2017 Sreco Tzar. All rights reserved.