Hoopoe (in Explore)
The Hoopoe is a colourful bird that is found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for its distinctive 'crown' of feathers.
The Hoopoe is classified in the Coraciiformes clade, a group that also includes kingfishers, bee-eaters, rollers, and woodhoopoes. The Hoopoe is a medium sized bird, 25–32 cm (9.8–12.6 in) long, with a 44–48 cm (17.3–19 in) wingspan weighing 46–89 g (1.6–3.1 oz). 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.
The diet of the Hoopoe is mostly composed of insects, although small reptiles and frogs as well as some plant matter such as seeds and berries are sometimes taken as well. It is a solitary forager which typically feeds on the ground. The diet of the Hoopoe includes many species considered to be pests by humans; for example the pupae of the processionary moth, a damaging forest pest.