Hoopoes are widely distributed in southern and central areas of the continents of Europe,
Asia and north Africa as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its crest is semicircular and erectile but it usually keeps it closed.Their habitat is open cultivated ground with short grass or bare patches. It is also found walking on the ground like a starling. During its flight it looks more or less like a large butterfly.
|the national bird of Israel|
It has a very short tongue in its long bill. Its (hud-hud) call is soft and musical. When threatened by a bird of prey, the hoopoe flattens itself against the ground and spreads its tail and wings. The head is thrown back and the bill points straight up.
The hoopoe was believed to have wonderful medicinal powers and was called the "Doctor Bird" by the Arabs. It was one of the sacred birds of
. They spend much time on the ground looking for insects and worms and reptiles such as lizards. You can find its nest in a hole in a tree or wall. The African counterpart is not a social bird. You always find them singly or in pairs. Egypt
The Hoopoe is not a dimorphic species. Its nest is quite malodorous and squalid.Most of the nests can be found in April and May in
Asia. Six to nine eggs are laid on the debris by the female who alone incubates them for 16-19 days. During this period she does not leave the nest and is fed by the male. After the chicks hatch, the mother continues to keep them warm for another eight days. The nestlings remain in the nest for 2-26 days. The young fledge in about a month and remain with the parents for about a week.