Upupa africana… the African Hoopoe.
The Hoopoe a colourful bird..notable for its distinctive ‘crown’ of feathers.
The African Hoopoe has a rich chestnut colouration, contrasted with black and white stripes on the wings and tail.
The under parts are reddish-brown. The head and back show the same colour. Broad rounded wings are heavily marked black and white. With a square tail, black, and shows a white wide band.
The head has a conspicuous crest, made with long chestnut feathers, with a bold black tip. The crest may be displayed in two forms. It may be held straight, or erected in a rounded crown.
The dark bill is long, slender and down-curved. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are brownish.
As usual the female is duller than male.
The African Hoopoe’s call is a distinctive “hoo-poo” repeated 3 to 5 times or more… so don’t pass wind when in their company… the hoo-poo could change to “Who-pooed??”
The African Hoopoe forages on the ground, probing with its slender bill. It walks easily and fast, with some movement of the head, it stops frequently to probe, dig and pick food off the ground. It snatches up insects in its long bill, and before eating, it beats the insects on the ground to remove the legs and wings. Then, it tosses up the prey and catches it in its open bill.
They blend in well with their surrounds when foraging between the rocks and in bare soil….