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hoopoe

hoopoe (hōō´pōō, –pō), common name for a shy, solitary, Old World woodland bird, Upupa epops. Its body color ranges from cinnamon to chestnut, with white-barred, black wings and tail, and a head topped by a prominent, erectile crest. Hoopoes measure from 101/2 to 12 in. (27–30 cm) bill to tail. They are primarily ground feeders and use their long, slender, decurved bills to probe for large insects, worms, and lizards. Less frequently, the hoopoe feeds while airborne, exhibiting its characteristic undulating erratic flight. Hoopoes are excellent runners. Found throughout the Old World, hoopoes frequent warm, dry areas, which are at least partially open. The northernmost species, which reach the English Channel and the Baltic Sea, are migratory in winter. The nest is built in a tree cavity or a rock crevice, sometimes lined with debris, or sometimes bare. The female lays and incubates from four to six pale blue to olive colored eggs per clutch and is fed during incubation by her mate. Both sexes care for the naked, helpless young. In addition to its beautiful plumage, the hoopoe is also noted for its filthy, malodorous nest. The bad odor comes from a combination of putrefying excrement, which the bird does not trouble to remove, and from defensive musty-smelling secretions released from the preen gland of the female when she is disturbed. Woodhoopoes belong to the same family as the hoopoe. They are uncrested and are more gregarious than the hoopoe. Found only in the forests of Africa, woodhoopoes are metallic greens, blues, and purples in color, and travel in small, noisy groups. They share the same foul nesting habits as the hoopoes. Hoopoes and woodhoopoes are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Coraciiformes, family Upupidae.

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hoopoe

hoo·poe / ˈhoōˌpō; -ˌpoō/ • n. a salmon-pink Eurasian bird (Upupa epops, family Upupidae) with a long down-curved bill, a large erectile crest, and black and white wings and tail.

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hoopoe

hoopoe Striped, fawn-coloured bird that lives in open areas throughout warmer parts of Eurasia. It has a fan-like crest, a long, curved bill, and feeds on small invertebrates. Length: 30cm (12in). Family Upupidae; species Upupa epops.

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hoopoe

hoopoe (Upopa epops) See UPUPIDAE; CORACIIFORMES.

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hoopoe

hoopoe •tapu • quipu • coypu • hoopoe

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Hoopoe

HOOPOE

HOOPOE (Heb. דּוּכִיפַת; av "lapwing"), bird included in the Pentateuch among the unclean birds (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18). The hoopoe was confused by Karaites with the chicken, for which reason they prohibited the eating of the latter (see Ibn Ezra on Lev. 11:19), even though the two are in fact distinguished from each other by many characteristics. Because of its crest, which is no more than an erectile tuft of feathers, the hoopoe is called "the wild cock" in the Talmud (Git. 68b). Smaller than a dove, it feeds on insects, and is distinguished by its beautifully colored plumage. Its flesh exudes an offensive smell which is particularly strong near its nest and repels anyone trying to approach it. This perhaps was the reason for certain legends associated with it, such as that it guards treasures in its nest, and was entrusted with transporting the shamir, the miraculous worm that split the stones for the Temple, the use of an iron tool for the purpose having been prohibited (Deut. 27:5; Ḥul. 63a).

bibliography:

F.S. Bodenheimer, Animal and Man in Bible Lands (1960), 55–56; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 90.

[Jehuda Feliks]

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Hoopoe

Hoopoe

The hoopoe (Upupa epops) is the only species in its family, the Upupidae. This species breeds in northwestern Africa, on Madagascar, throughout the Middle East, and in southern Europe and southern Asia. Its usual habitats are open forests, savannas, grasslands, and some types of cultivated lands and parks. Some populations of hoopoes are sedentary, while others are migratory.

Hoopoes have a body length of 12 in (30 cm), with broad, rounded wings, a long tail, and a long, thin, slightly downward-curving beak. The head is strongly and distinctively crested. The upper body has a light brown, pinkish coloration, and the rest of the body and wings are strongly barred with black and white. The female hoopoe is slightly smaller and duller in coloration than the male.

Hoopoes feed mostly on the ground on invertebrates, although they sometimes also catch insects in the air. They commonly perch and roost in trees. The flight of hoopoes is erratic, and strongly undulating. Their call is a loud hoop-hoop-hoop, and is the origin of the species name.

Hoopoes nest in a cavity in a tree or sometimes in a hole in a wall or building. The female incubates the five to eight eggs, and is fed by the male during her confinement. Both sexes care for the young. Unlike most birds, hoopoes are not fastidious and do not leave their nest to defecate, nor do they remove the fecal packets of the young. Consequently, their nest becomes quite fouled with excrement and is disgustingly smelly.

Hoopoes are an unusual and distinctive species and have been important in some cultures. They are depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics and are mentioned in classical Greek literature. Hoopoes are still appealing today and are a choice sighting for bird-watchers and other naturalists.

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Hoopoe

Hoopoe

The hoopoe (Upupa epops) is the only species in its family, the Upupidae. This species breeds in northwestern Africa , on Madagascar, throughout the Middle East, and in southern Europe and southern Asia . Its usual habitats are open forests , savannas, grasslands , and some types of cultivated lands and parks. Some populations of hoopoes are sedentary, while others are migratory.

Hoopoes have a body length of 12 in (30 cm), with broad, rounded wings, a long tail, and a long, thin, slightly downward-curving beak. The head is strongly and distinctively crested. The upper body has a light brown, pinkish coloration, and the rest of the body and wings are strongly barred with black and white. The female hoopoe is slightly smaller and duller in coloration than the male.

Hoopoes feed mostly on the ground on invertebrates , although they sometimes also catch insects in the air. They commonly perch and roost in trees. The flight of hoopoes is erratic, and strongly undulating.

Their call is a loud "hoop-hoop-hoop," and is the origin of the species' name.

Hoopoes nest in a cavity in a tree or sometimes in a hole in a wall or building. The female incubates the five to eight eggs, and is fed by the male during her confinement. Both sexes care for the young. Unlike most birds , hoopoes are not fastidious and do leave their nest to defecate, nor do they remove the fecal packets of the young. Consequently, their nest becomes quite fouled with excrement and disgustingly smelly.

Hoopoes are an unusual and distinctive species and have been important in some cultures. Hoopoes are depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics, and they are mentioned in some classical literature from Greece. They are still appealing today and are a choice sighting for bird-watchers and other naturalists.

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