Hoopoe

Upupa epops

الهدهد

Status: Common

The Hoopoe is in the Upupidae family in the Bucerotiformes order. It is 26-30 cm in size and 46-70 grams in weight. A medium sized bird well known due to its brown crest (with black tips) which spreads out when the bird lands. The wings are wide and rounded with a black and white pattern. The tail is black with a wide, white band. The beak is thin and long (approximately 5 cm) with a downward curve. .Juveniles resembles the adults but with a more faded coloring. Its diet is composed of worms, insects, arthropods and small reptiles which it extracts from the soil with its beak. The Hoopoe is usually found on the ground, its flight is low and wavelike. The variation in the strength of the wing strokes gives the impression of a lack of confidence. The Hoopoe prefers open fields, gardens, orchards, and urban parks. It is often found on large well-kept lawns where its prey is abundant. The call of the Hoopoe that sounds like a quick 3 syllable "oop-oop-oop" or "hood hood hood" is the origin of its name in both English, Latin and Arabic. The Hoopoe breeds in the region, building nests in tree trunks, cracks in rock walls, pipes and under the roof tiles.  As it breeds in populated areas it protects its nest by "freezing" on the spot when encountering any potential danger near the nest to avoid discovery of the nest.
If the nest is threatened by a predator the nestlings will make hissing noises and spray the predator with feces. The female and the nestlings excrete a malodorous liquid from the fat gland that is applied to the plumage so that Hoopoe's nest is a "stink bomb" that deters cats and other unwanted "guests". The Hoopoe is common throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, preferably in warm tropic areas and excluding the northern humid areas. Most of the population migrates to the Sahel area in south Sahara in the fall. In Palestine it’s a common resident bird and also as a migrant and wintering bird.

International conservation status: LC, Regional conservation status: LC

Migratory behaviour: Resident breeder

Sites: Beitillu, Umm at-Tut, Wadi Al-Quff nature reserves