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African Hoopoe

Afrikaans name: Hoephoep

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African Hoopoe

Photo © Steven Herbert

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African Hoopoe

Photo © Steven Herbert

Upapa africana

The African Hoopoe is a common and distinctive bird that is found over large portions of Africa, Asia and Europe.

Male and female are similar.

The call of the bird was responsible for its name.

African Hoopoes are found in open areas in woodland, savanna, gardens and other suitable habitats. My personal feeling is that it used to be far more common in gardens that it is currently and I wonder if the use of insecticides in the garden hasn't contributed to its modern-day scarcity in gardens.

Hoopoes mainly eat insects and small reptiles. Its long curved bill is ideal for digging around in the soil. They may beat their prey on the ground to kill it or break it up into smaller pieces.

Pairs of African Hoopoes establish a territory in which to breed. They make a nest in a hole in a tree. In some parts of the world they lay up to 12 eggs, but the normal clutch size is around 4 to 7. These are tended to by the female.

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