The blue crested hoopoe does not exist. They have reddish-orange colored crest. The body is pinkish-brown. If you see a picture of a blue one then it is a fake.
The African Hoopoe is a species of bird found in Africa. It is a member of the Upupidae family, including the Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops), but these are two distinct species.
Males of the African Hoopoe are darker than those of the Eurasian Hoopoe; females are close in color. Male African Hoopoes have a more intense cinnamon coloration on their upperparts, lack a subterminal white band on their crest, and have all-black primaries. Both animals share similar habits and vocalizations.
African Hoopoes are found across Africa, except in the woods of the western and central equatorial lowlands. Certain African Hoopoe species are migratory, although some are sedentary.
What Are The Characteristics of Hoopoe?
The African Hoopoe is a strange-looking bird about the size of a Starling. African Hoopoes range from 25 to 30 centimeters, weigh 57 grams, and have a wingspan of 45 centimeters. Their plumage is cinnamon in color, with black and white stripes on their wings and tails. Additionally, their underparts, ears, throat, and back are cinnamon-colored.
African Hoopoes have long, rounded wings and a square-shaped black tail with a broad white band. Their heads are distinguished by a conspicuous crown of long chestnut-colored feathers with black tips. While the bird is sleeping, the crest lies backward; but, when frightened or agitated, the crest opens up and takes on a lovely oval appearance.
Yellow, broad, thin, and strongly downward bent, the Hoopoe’s beak is black. Their eyes are round, circular, and dark, and their legs and feet are short and gray. Female Hoopoes, like other bird species, are duller in color, although chicks mimic the female but have shorter crests.
The African Hoopoe bird has an oil gland that secretes an odiferous substance.
What Are The Habitat of Hoopoes?
African Hoopoes prefer clear, bushy habitats, as well as thornveld and riverine woodlands in arid regions. Additionally, they are contained in parks and suburban gardens. These birds breed in cavities such as gaps or crevices in tree trunks but have also been reported to nest in discarded termite nests, nest boxes, rock stacks, and even under houses. They can re-use the same nest for an extended period of time. Typically, nests are lined with straw, debris, or dried manure.
Hoopoes are well-known for their filthy nests, which are foul-smelling because of the manure.
African Hoopoes are foragers, foraging through leaf litter with their large, thin beaks. It mostly consumes insects and earthworms from the grass, but before it does so, it bangs the bug on the ground to remove its legs and wings and then tosses it into the air before capturing it in its open beak.
African Hoopoes can also consume frogs, tiny snakes, lizards, and small amounts of seeds and berries. Additionally, they consume insect pupae or larvae by poking the earth with their beak.
African Hoopoes are vocal birds with a distinct call that sounds like ‘Hooo Pooh,’ which is repeated three to five times after each call.
African Hoopoes have a unique defense mechanism in which they lay flat to the bottom, stretch their tail and legs, and point their beak straight upwards when threatened by an animal.
Hoopoes are low-flying birds with an unpredictable flight pattern and rapid wing beats; but, when pursued by a bird of prey, they will climb very high to flee.
African Hoopoes are not sociable birds and are usually either alone or in pairs. Until its companion dies, and is monogamous. If their partner dies, the African Hoopoe may search for a new mate.
The female Hoopoe lays between four and seven eggs that are initially blue/green in color but soon turn brown. For 14–20 days, the female incubates the eggs. Chicks are born powerless, nude, and mute, with just a scant amount of feathers. The male feeds the chicks first, followed by both parents. Chicks develop feathers around 28 days. Each year, they develop between one and three broods.
Hoopoes are vibrant birds distributed in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They are well known for their distinctive feathered “crown.” Three living and one extinct species are known, but for a long period of time, all existing species were grouped together as a single species called Upupa epops.
They are interesting birds to read and study about, and if you ever come across one, make sure to take out a video camera and observe their every move. Afterall, it might be an unforgettable experience. If you see a blue one, you are probably dreaming.