Friday, 6 May 2011

The Hoopoe

 Huppe fasciée
This week we have been seeing a Hoopoe regularly from the house. They are spectacular birds and cause a lot of excitement when we spot them. Usually it is a fleeting glimpse from the car as one flies away in front of us, but this week we have seen one feeding in our field and perching in the large walnut tree. 
Click to enlarge
They eat mainly insects but will also take small reptiles. There are plenty of both here because we only cut the field once a year to allow the wild flowers to seed and the insects to breed. Hoopoes are serial monogamists and territorial. So far we have only seen one but you never know!

Because of their strong colours and unusual crest Hoopoes have always had a strong presence in human culture and they are depicted on the walls of tombs and temples in both ancient Egypt and in Minoan Crete. In 2008 they became the national bird of Israel.

Click to enlarge
I must admit that these are not my pictures.
Perhaps I really do need that 55-250 telephoto zoom that I have been thinking about for a long time!


  1. Beautiful images. Would you tel me what is the source of the first hoopoe ? I am an artist, and I need the copyright permission, in order to use it for a mixed-media artwork.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. After a little research it appears that the image copyright is held by Stiver Photos at although I picked it up from someone else's site who had already removed the copyright notification. Sorry Harold!