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Happy Hoopoe

Martin Smart

Nanaimo, Canada

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WINNER of the Anything Striped Challenge in the Vibration in Art and Verse – VAVoom! Group

2nd Place in the Birds Category – Order – Coraciiformes – Kingfishers, Hoopoe, Bee-eaters, Rollers & Hornbills Challenge in the Nature Photography Challenge Group

2nd Place in the Flapping Wings Challenge in the Vision Of Flight Photography Group

3rd Place in the Strange Birds Challenge in the Mood & Ambi(e)nce Group

Featured in “Canon DSLR” February 2010
Featured in “Made By Nature” May 2010
Featured in “Alphabet Soup” May 2011
Featured in “The World As We See It, or as we missed it” May 2011
Featured in “Tell Your Photo Story” June 2011
Featured in “Challenge Winners Vault” September 2011

A Hoopoe – pronounced hoo-poo – (Upupa epops) returning to its nest – a hole in an old tree – with a spider to feed to its young.

The Hoopoe is a colourful bird notable for its distinctive crown or crest of feathers and is widespread in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Most European and north Asian birds migrate to the tropics in winter. The Hoopoe’s habitat includes bare or lightly vegetated ground on which to forage and vertical surfaces with cavities such as trees, cliffs or even walls, nest boxes, haystacks, and abandoned burrows in which to nest. It is a medium sized bird 9.8-12.6 in long, with a 17.3–19 in wingspan. It has 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. It has broad and rounded wings capable of strong flight and has a characteristic undulating flight like that of a giant butterfly. This is caused by the wings half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats.
The Hoopoe eats mostly insects, including crickets, locusts, beetles, earwigs, cicadas, bugs and ants., although small reptiles and frogs and some plant matter such as seeds and berries are sometimes taken as well. They are often seen on relatively open ground probing the ground or piles of leaves with the full length of their bill.

See additional images below.

Photographed on the Greek Island of Lesvos.

Canon 20D
1/1250sec f8 ISO 200
500mm lens

648 views and 27 favoritings as at May 28th 2011

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