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Upupa epops

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Ordo: Bucerotiformes

Familia: Upupidae
Genus: Upupa
Species: Upupa epops
Subspecies: U. e. ceylonensis – U. e. epops – U. e. longirostris – U. e. major – U. e. senegalensis – U. e. waibeli

Upupa epops Linnaeus, 1758

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiæ: impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii. i–ii, 1–824 pp DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.542: 117–118. Reference page.

Vernacular names
Afrikaans: Hoephoep
Alemannisch: Widhapf
aragonés: Porput
العربية: هدهد
asturianu: Pupa
azərbaycanca: Şanapipik
Boarisch: Wut-Wut
башҡортса: Һөҙһөт
беларуская: Удод
български: Папуняк
বাংলা: মোহনচূড়া
བོད་ཡིག: པུ་ཤུད།
brezhoneg: Houperig
bosanski: Pupavac
català: Puput, palput
нохчийн: H̗uttut
corsu: Puppusgiula
čeština: Dudek chocholatý
чӑвашла: Хыркук
Cymraeg: Copog
dansk: Hærfugl
Deutsch: Wiedehopf
Zazaki: Hophopık
dolnoserbski: Hupac
Ελληνικά: Τσαλαπετεινός
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Bóbla
English: Hoopoe
Esperanto: Eŭrazia upupo
español: Abubilla
eesti: Vaenukägu
euskara: Argi-oilar
فارسی: هدهد
suomi: Harjalintu
føroyskt: Herfuglur
Nordfriisk: Wiiduu
français: Huppe fasciée
Frysk: Hûpe
Gaeilge: Húpú
Gàidhlig: Calman cathaidh
galego: Bubela
Gaelg: Ushag ny thorran
Hausa: Kahuhu
עברית: דוכיפת
हिन्दी: हुदहुद
hrvatski: Pupavac
hornjoserbsce: Hupak
magyar: Búbos banka
հայերեն: Հոպոպ
Bahasa Indonesia: Burung hud-hud
Ido: Upupo
íslenska: Herfugl
italiano: Upupa
日本語: ヤツガシラ
ქართული: ოფოფი
қазақша: Бәбісек
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಚಂದ್ರಮುಕುಟ
한국어: 후투티
kurdî: Silêmanê dunikul
kernowek: Hoopoo
кыргызча: Сасык үпүп
Lëtzebuergesch: Mitock
Limburgs: Hoephap
lietuvių: Kukutis
latviešu: Pupuķis
Malagasy: Barao
македонски: Пупунец
മലയാളം: ഉപ്പൂപ്പൻ
монгол: Өвөөлж
Bahasa Melayu: Burung hud-hud
Malti: Daqquqa tat-Toppu
Mirandés: boubelo, coquelhuda
эрзянь: Пичекивге
မြန်မာဘာသာ: တောင်ဘီစုတ်ငှက်
Nedersaksies: Hoepe
Plattdüütsch: Puupvagel
Nederlands: Hop
norsk nynorsk: Hærfugl
norsk: Hærfugl
Nouormand: Huppe
occitan: Puput
ирон: Дыгоппон
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਸ਼ਿਕਰਾ
polski: Dudek
Piemontèis: Pupù
پنجابی: چک چکیرا
português: Poupa
rumantsch: Cot da matg
română: Pupăză
русский: Удод
sicilianu: Pipituni
sardu: Pubusa
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pupavac
slovenčina: Dudok chochlatý
slovenščina: Smrdokavr
shqip: Pupë
српски / srpski: Пупавац / Pupavac
svenska: Härfågel
Kiswahili: Hudihudi
தமிழ்: கொண்டலாத்தி
ไทย: นกกะรางหัวขวาน
Türkçe: İbibik
українська: Одуд
اردو: ہد ہد
vèneto: Gaza buba
Tiếng Việt: Đầu rìu
West-Vlams: Hoepentoep
中文: 戴胜

The Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops) is the most widespread species of the genus Upupa, native to Europe, Asia and the northern half of Africa. Some taxonomists still consider all three species conspecific. Some authorities also keep the African and Eurasian hoopoe together, but split the Madagascar hoopoe.
File:Upupa epops - Common hoopoe.webmPlay media
Upupa epops.

Nine subspecies of Eurasian hoopoe are recognised by Kristin (in the 2001 Handbook of the Birds of the World). They vary mostly in size and the depth of colour in the plumage. One further subspecies is suggested- U. e. orientalis in northwestern India.
Subspecies[2] Breeding range[2] Distinctive features[2]
U. e. epops
Linnaeus, 1758 Northwest Africa, Canary Islands, and from Europe through to south central Russia, northwest China and south to northwest India. Nominate
U. e. major
C.L. Brehm, 1855 Northeast Africa Larger than nominate, longer billed, narrower tailband, greyer upperparts
U. e. senegalensis
Swainson, 1913 Senegal to Ethiopia Smaller than nominate, shorter winged
U. e. waibeli
Reichenow, 1913 Cameroon through to north Kenya As U. e. senegalensis but darker plumage and more white on wings
U. e. saturata
Lönnberg, 1909 Japan, Siberia to Tibet and south China As nominate, greyer mantle, less pink below
U. e. ceylonensis
Reichenbach, 1853 Indian Subcontinent Smaller than nominate, more rufous overall, no white in crest
U. e. longirostris
Jerdon, 1862 Southeast Asia Larger than nominate, pale
U. e. epops in Galicia, Spain.
Hoopoes seen in Tenerife in July 2021
Hoopoes seen in Tenerife in July 2021
The muscles of the head allow the hoopoe's bill to be opened when it is inserted into the ground

The Eurasian hoopoe is a medium-sized bird, 25–32 cm (9.8–12.6 in) long, with a 44–48 cm (17–19 in) wingspan. It weighs 46–89 g (1.6–3.1 oz).[3] The species is highly distinctive, with a long, thin tapering bill that is black with a fawn base. The strengthened musculature of the head allows the bill to be opened when probing inside the soil. The hoopoe has broad and rounded wings capable of strong flight; these are larger in the northern migratory subspecies. The hoopoe has a characteristic undulating flight, which is like that of a giant butterfly, caused by the wings half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats.[2] Adults may begin their moult after the breeding season and continue after they have migrated for the winter.[4]

The call is typically a trisyllabic oop-oop-oop, which may give rise to its English and scientific names, although two and four syllables are also common. An alternative explanation of the English and scientific names is that they are derived from the French name for the bird, huppée, which means crested. In the Himalayas, the calls can be confused with that of the Himalayan cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus), although the cuckoo typically produces four notes. Other calls include rasping croaks, when alarmed, and hisses. Females produce a wheezy note during courtship feeding by the male.[5]
Distribution and habitat

The Eurasian hoopoe is widespread in Europe, Asia, and North Africa and northern Sub-Saharan Africa.[2] Most European and north Asian birds migrate to the tropics in winter.[6] In contrast, the African populations are sedentary all year. The species has been a vagrant in Alaska;[7] U. e. saturata was recorded there in 1975 in the Yukon Delta.[8] Hoopoes have been known to breed north of their European range,[9] and in southern England during warm, dry summers that provide plenty of grasshoppers and similar insects,[10] although as of the early 1980s northern European populations were reported to be in the decline, possibly due to changes in climate.[9] In 2015, a record numbers of hoopoes were recorded in Ireland, with at least 50 birds recorded in the southwest of the country.[11] This was the highest recorded number since 1965 when 65 individuals were sighted.[12]

The hoopoe has two basic requirements of its habitat: bare or lightly vegetated ground on which to forage and vertical surfaces with cavities (such as trees, cliffs or even walls, nestboxes, haystacks, and abandoned burrows[9]) in which to nest. These requirements can be provided in a wide range of ecosystems, and as a consequence the hoopoe inhabits a wide range of habitats such as heathland, wooded steppes, savannas and grasslands, as well as forest glades.

Hunting is of concern in southern Europe and Asia.[8]

Hoopoes make seasonal movements in response to rain in some regions such as in Ceylon and in the Western Ghats.[13] Birds have been seen at high altitudes during migration across the Himalayas. One was recorded at about 6,400 m (21,000 ft) by the first Mount Everest expedition.[5]
Behaviour and ecology

In what was long thought to be a defensive posture, hoopoes sunbathe by spreading out their wings and tail low against the ground and tilting their head up; they often fold their wings and preen halfway through.[14] They also enjoy taking dust and sand baths.[15]
Diet and feeding
juvenile in nest box, Hungary

The diet of the Eurasian hoopoe is mostly composed of insects, although small reptiles, frogs and plant matter such as seeds and berries are sometimes taken as well. It is a solitary forager which typically feeds on the ground. More rarely they will feed in the air, where their strong and rounded wings make them fast and manoeuvrable, in pursuit of numerous swarming insects. More commonly their foraging style is to stride over relatively open ground and periodically pause to probe the ground with the full length of their bill. Insect larvae, pupae and mole crickets are detected by the bill and either extracted or dug out with the strong feet. Hoopoes will also feed on insects on the surface, probe into piles of leaves, and even use the bill to lever large stones and flake off bark. Common diet items include crickets, locusts, beetles, earwigs, cicadas, ant lions, bugs and ants. These can range from 10 to 150 mm (3⁄8 to 5+7⁄8 in) in length, with a preferred prey size of around 20–30 mm (3⁄4–1+1⁄8 in). Larger prey items are beaten against the ground or a preferred stone to kill them and remove indigestible body parts such as wings and legs.[2]
Young and mature hoopoe in Dubai park
Hoopoe eggs MHNT

The hoopoe genus is monogamous, although the pair bond apparently only lasts for a single season, and territorial. The male calls frequently to advertise his ownership of the territory. Chases and fights between rival males (and sometimes females) are common and can be brutal.[2] Birds will try to stab rivals with their bills, and individuals are occasionally blinded in fights.[16] The nest is in a hole in a tree or wall, and has a narrow entrance.[15] It may be unlined, or various scraps may be collected.[9] The female alone is responsible for incubating the eggs. Clutch size varies with location: Northern Hemisphere birds lay more eggs than those in the Southern Hemisphere, and birds at higher latitudes have larger clutches than those closer to the equator. In central and northern Europe and Asia the clutch size is around 12, whereas it is around four in the tropics and seven in the subtropics. The eggs are round and milky blue when laid, but quickly discolour in the increasingly dirty nest.[2] They weigh 4.5 g (0.16 oz).[14] A replacement clutch is possible.[9]

Hoopoes have well-developed anti-predator defences in the nest. The uropygial gland of the incubating and brooding female is quickly modified to produce a foul-smelling liquid, and the glands of nestlings do so as well. These secretions are rubbed into the plumage. The secretion, which smells like rotting meat, is thought to help deter predators, as well as deter parasites and possibly act as an antibacterial agent.[17] The secretions stop soon before the young leave the nest.[14] From the age of six days, nestlings can also direct streams of faeces at intruders, and will hiss at them in a snake-like fashion.[2] The young also strike with their bill or with one wing.[14]

The incubation period for the species is between 15 and 18 days, during which time the male feeds the female. Incubation begins as soon as the first egg is laid, so the chicks are born asynchronously. The chicks hatch with a covering of downy feathers. By around day three to five, feather quills emerge which will become the adult feathers. The chicks are brooded by the female for between 9 and 14 days.[2] The female later joins the male in the task of bringing food.[15] The young fledge in 26 to 29 days and remain with the parents for about a week more.[9] Hoopoes show hatching asynchrony of eggs which is thought to allow for brood reduction when food availability is low.[18]
Relationship with humans
Hoopoe on Bamboo by Zhao Mengfu, c. 1254–1322 (Shanghai Museum)
Hoopoe (דוכיפת) in Israel. The hoopoe is Israel's national bird.
The Hoopoe bird was recorded as residing in Britain in the 18th Century

The diet of the Eurasian hoopoe includes many species considered by humans to be pests, such as the pupae of the processionary moth, a damaging forest pest.[19] For this reason the species is afforded protection under the law in many countries.[2]

Hoopoes are distinctive birds and have made a cultural impact over much of their range. They were considered sacred in Ancient Egypt, and were "depicted on the walls of tombs and temples". During the Old Kingdom, the hoopoe was used in the iconography as a symbolic code to indicate the child was the heir and successor of his father.[20] They achieved a similar standing in Minoan Crete.[14]

In the Torah, Leviticus 11:13–19, hoopoes were listed among the animals that are detestable and should not be eaten. They are also listed in Deuteronomy 14:18[21] as not kosher.

The hoopoe also appears in the Quran and is known as the "Hudhud" (هدهد), in Surah Al-Naml 27:20–22: "And he Solomon sought among the birds and said: How is it that I see not the hoopoe, or is he among the absent? (20) I verily will punish him with hard punishment or I verily will slay him, or he verily shall bring me a plain excuse. (21) But he [the hoopoe] was not long in coming, and he said: I have found out (a thing) that thou apprehendest not, and I come unto thee from Sheba with sure tidings."

Hoopoes were seen as a symbol of virtue in Persia. A hoopoe was a leader of the birds in the Persian book of poems The Conference of the Birds ("Mantiq al-Tayr" by Attar) and when the birds seek a king, the hoopoe points out that the Simurgh was the king of the birds.[22]

Hoopoes were thought of as thieves across much of Europe, and harbingers of war in Scandinavia.[23] In Estonian tradition, hoopoes are strongly connected with death and the underworld; their song is believed to foreshadow death for many people or cattle.[24]

The hoopoe is the king of the birds in the Ancient Greek comedy The Birds by Aristophanes. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, book 6, King Tereus of Thrace rapes Philomela, his wife Procne's sister, and cuts out her tongue. In revenge, Procne kills their son Itys and serves him as a stew to his father. When Tereus sees the boy's head, which is served on a platter, he grabs a sword but just as he attempts to kill the sisters, they are turned into birds—Procne into a swallow and Philomela into a nightingale. Tereus himself is turned into an epops (6.674), translated as lapwing by Dryden[25] and lappewincke (lappewinge) by John Gower in his Confessio Amantis,[26] or hoopoe in A.S. Kline's translation.[27] The bird's crest indicates his royal status, and his long, sharp beak is a symbol of his violent nature. English translators and poets probably had the northern lapwing in mind, considering its crest.

The hoopoe was chosen as the national bird of Israel in May 2008 in conjunction with the country's 60th anniversary, following a national survey of 155,000 citizens, outpolling the white-spectacled bulbul.[28][29] The hoopoe appears on the Logo of the University of Johannesburg and is the official mascot of the University's sports. The municipalities of Armstedt and Brechten, Germany, have hoopoes in their coats of arms.

In Morocco, hoopoes are traded live and as medicinal products in the markets, primarily in herbalist shops. This trade is unregulated and a potential threat to local populations [30]

Three CGI enhanced hoopoes, together with other birds collectively named "the tittifers", are often shown whistling a song in the BBC children's television series In the Night Garden....

BirdLife International (2020). "Upupa epops". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T22682655A181836360. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T22682655A181836360.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
Kristin, A (2001). "Family Upupidae (Hoopoes)". In Josep, del Hoyo; Andrew, Elliott; Sargatal, Jordi (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 6, Mousebirds to Hornbills. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 396–411. ISBN 978-84-87334-30-6.
Krištín, A. and G. M. Kirwan (2020). "Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops), version 1.0." In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.
RSPB Handbook of British Birds (2014). UK ISBN 978-1-4729-0647-2.
Ali, S.; Ripley, S. D. (1983). Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. Volume 4 (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press, New Delhi. pp. 124–129.
Reichlin, Thomas; Michael Schaub; Myles H. M. Menz; Murielle Mermod; Patricia Portner; Raphaël Arlettaz; Lukas Jenni (2008). "Migration patterns of Hoopoe Upupa epops and Wryneck Jynx torquilla: an analysis of European ring recoveries" (PDF). Journal of Ornithology. 150 (2): 393. doi:10.1007/s10336-008-0361-3. S2CID 43360238. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-27.
Dau, Christian; Paniyak, Jack (1977). "Hoopoe, A First Record for North America" (PDF). Auk. 94 (3): 601.
Heindel, Matthew T. (2006). Jonathan Alderfer (ed.). Complete Birds of North America. National Geographic Society. p. 360. ISBN 978-0-7922-4175-1.
Pforr, Manfred; Alfred Limbrunner (1982). The Breeding Birds of Europe 2: A Photographic Handbook. London: Croom and Helm. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-7099-2020-5.
Soper, Tony (1982). Birdwatch. Exeter, England: Webb & Bower. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-906671-55-9.
Healy, Alison (27 April 2015). "Hoopoe causing a hoopla in southeast as 50 exotic birds spotted". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
"Hoopoe invasion of Ireland's south coast". Ireland's Wildlife. 2015-04-15. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
Champion-Jones, RN (1937). "The Ceylon Hoopoe (Upupa epops ceylonensis Reichb.)". J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 39 (2): 418.
Fry, Hilary C. (2003). Christopher Perrins (ed.). Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. Firefly Books. pp. 382. ISBN 978-1-55297-777-4.
Harrison, C.J.O.; Christopher Perrins (1979). Birds: Their Ways, Their World. The Reader's Digest Association. pp. 303–304. ISBN 978-0-89577-065-3.
Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel; Palomino, José J.; Soler, Manuel (2004). "Strophe Length in Spontaneous Songs Predicts Male Response to Playback in the Hoopoe Upupa epops". Ethology. 110 (5): 351–362. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2004.00971.x.
Martín-Platero, Antonio M.; et al. (2006). "Characterization of Antimicrobial Substances Produced by Enterococcus faecalis MRR 10-3, Isolated from the Uropygial Gland of the Hoopoe (Upupa epops)". Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 72 (6): 4245–4249. doi:10.1128/AEM.02940-05. PMC 1489579. PMID 16751538.
Hildebrandt, B.; Schaub, M. (2018). "The effects of hatching asynchrony on growth and mortality patterns in Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops nestlings". Ibis. 160 (1): 145–157. doi:10.1111/ibi.12529.
Battisti, A; Bernardi, M.; Ghiraldo, C. (2000). "Predation by the hoopoe (Upupa epops) on pupae of Thaumetopoea pityocampa and the likely influence on other natural enemies". Biocontrol. 45 (3): 311–323. doi:10.1023/A:1009992321465. S2CID 11447864.
Marshall, Amandine (2015). "The child and the hoopoe in ancient Egypt". KMT. 72 (26.1): 59–63.
Deuteronomy Chapter 14:18.
Smith, Margaret (1932). The Persian Mystics 'Attar'. New York: E.P.Dutton and Company. p. 27.
Dupree, N (1974). "An Interpretation of the Role of the Hoopoe in Afghan Folklore and Magic". Folklore. 85 (3): 173–93. doi:10.1080/0015587X.1974.9716553. JSTOR 1260073.
Mall Hiiemäe, Forty birds in Estonian folklore IV.
Garth, Samuel; Dryden, John; et al. "'Metamorphoses' by Ovid".
Book 5, lines 6041 and 6046. Gower, John (2008-07-03). Confessio Amantis. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
Kline, A.S. (2000). "The Metamorphoses: They are transformed into birds". Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
"Day in pictures". San Francisco Chronicle. Reuters. May 29, 2008.
"Hoopoe Israel's new national bird". ynet.
"Illegal trade in wild birds in Morocco: photo-report". MaghrebOrnitho. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 2018-06-03.

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