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|When photographing Bee-eaters (see my 2 last postings) suddenly this hoopoe flew in the dead tree just in front of my car and stayed there for a few seconds.|
The Hoopoe Upupa epops is in the same order of often colourful near passerine birds as the kingfishers, bee-eaters, and rollers.
Hoopoes are widespread in Southern Europe, Asia and North Africa, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. 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. That particular diet may have been among the reasons the Hoopoe is included on the Old Testament's list of unclean birds (see Leviticus 11:19 and Deuteronomy 14:18).
The Hoopoe is 25-29cm long, with a 44-48cm wingspan. This black, white and pink bird is quite unmistakable, especially in its erratic flight, which is like that of 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 contain copious amounts of faeces and smell very foul as a protection against predators. Nesting hoopoes are capable of squirting fecal matter at intruders.
|Altered Image #1|
Put into photoshop, unsharp mask. Sharpened amount 200, radius 0.3, threshold 0. Just to bring out the feather detail and put a little more detail in the head as it was slightly soft. Hope you like.