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Happy Hoopoe by Martin Smart


Small (23.2" x 15.4")

Available to buy on…

Best viewed large

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


crest, hoopoe, lesvos, greek islands, colourful bird, feather crown

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  • Moorey
    Mooreyover 4 years ago

    Lovely capture. The motion in the wings works well too

  • Thank you very much Moorey, I appreciate your comments!

    – Martin Smart

  • Carla Maloco
    Carla Malocoover 4 years ago

    Well captured,great detail.

  • Thank you Carla, much appreciated!

    – Martin Smart

  • Kimberly Chadwick
    Kimberly Chadwickover 4 years ago

    This is magnificent! Great capture and instant favorite for me!

  • Many thanks Kimberly, your comments are greatly appreciated!

    – Martin Smart

  • Eeva47
    Eeva47over 4 years ago

    What an extraordinary looking bird. Great photos!

  • Thanks very much Eeava!

    – Martin Smart

  • Jon Lees
    Jon Leesover 4 years ago

    These are great birds Martin, i ve not seen one in the wild yet hopefully soon, nice capture!

  • Thanks very much Jon!

    – Martin Smart

  • Themis
    Themisover 4 years ago

    Excellent, as usual – I love the whole sequence, but the one you posted shows the bird at its cutest :-) as well as having those magnificent fanned-out wings – good timing! Oh, and the information you provide is always instructive – thank you!

  • Thanks so much for your kind comments and support Themis, appreciated as always!

    – Martin Smart

  • christopher363
    christopher363over 4 years ago

    superb capture!

  • Appreciate the compliment Christopher, thank you!

    – Martin Smart

  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...over 4 years ago

  • Thank you so much for the feature Kathy, truly appreciated!

    – Martin Smart

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...over 4 years ago

    Brilliant behavioural capture Martin, great work!

  • Thanks very much Kon, I appreciate your comments and support!

    – Martin Smart

  • DigitallyStill
    DigitallyStillover 4 years ago

    Very interesting bird. Well captured Martin.


  • Thank you so much Francine!

    – Martin Smart

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