HOOPOE

This bird is a bit less than a pigeon. It is easily distinguishable due to its long and thin beak which is slightly bent downwards and big fan-shaped tuft on the head. The color is reddish-pink, the wings and the tail are black with white strips and spots clearly visible in flight. The tuft is ocher-ginger with black-ended plumes; the bird is capable of “folding” its tuft.

The flight is wave-like, much similar to a butterfly. The bird can run easily on the ground, sit on buildings’ walls and trees’ trunks like a woodpecker. The hoopoe is very cautious. Its voice sounds like “doo-doo” or “hoop-hoop”, sometimes like a hiss. The bird is active in day-time and uses trees’ hollows, rock splits and other suitable refuges for the night’s lodging.

The hoopoe feeds on insects and maggots.
It is a typical bird for the steppes, forest steppes and broken forests of the southern Krasnoyarsk Territory. The hoopoe can be encountered near Achinsk, Minusinsk and Usinsk kettle hole. Periodically it flies into the Krasnoyarsk and Kansk area. Generally it is a rare bird. The favorite habitat is an open landscape with rare shrubs or trees (meadows and pastures). It is also met in cultivated landscapes, orchards and vineyards.

4

The hoopoe makes its nest in trees’ hollows, stubs’ cavities and sometimes in splits of buildings and cliffs or in other animals’ burrows. I observed the hoopoe’s nest arranged in an old electric pole in Idrinsk region. Probably, the bird took a woodpecker’s hollow. The nest was situated within the territory of nearby village. The nest has practically no lining; there may be just few grass blades, plumes or pieces of cow dung.

The hollow may also contain rotten wood. Unlike most of the birds the hoopoes never remove the dung from their nests and it gradually gathers in piles inside. Moreover, during the brooding and feeding of nestlings the hoopoes produce an oily liquid which is extracted by the preen gland and has a strong bad odor. Such adaptation helps the birds to protect themselves from small ground predators while for a human the hoopoe has gain a reputation of a “frowzy” bird. There are 5-6 greyish or ocher-colored eggs in a set.