Common Hoopoe (male ) feeding the female during courtship at Delhi
Common Hoopoe (male ) feeding the female during courtship at Delhi

Cyclone Hudhud hit the eastern Indian coastline on 12th October, 2014 & created havoc in and around Vishakhapatnam, the industrial town located in the Andhra Pradesh state. One must be thinking why are we talking about the cyclone after a period of almost three years and what is the relationship of a cyclone with wildlife, nature … In fact cyclone “Hudhud” was named after the Hudhud bird, an Arabic name & it is the national bird of Israel. In English it is called hoopoe.

Common Hoopoe flying with larva to feed the female at Delhi

A practice of naming storms began years ago in order to help in quick identification of the storm specific as warning messages. This became a trend because it made life easier to remember the storm in specific.

Hudhud is seen in wooded areas, hills, plains, lawns, gardens, towns and villages. It is indeed a beautiful bird with a crown, has stripes like a Zebra, beak like a Woodpecker and a beautiful crown opens and closes like a fan.

Common Hoopoe flying over the female and female asking for the food at Delhi
Common Hoopoe family foraging for food in the grass at Delhi
Common Hoopoe tryng to ward off Myna at Delhi

The bird has a long beak and it penetrates into soil to search for food – insects, larvae, pupae, worms etc. that keeps the bird mostly on the ground. Hudhud is known as the true friend of farmers as they keep on digging soil for food. Before eating the insect, it is beaten on the ground to remove the hard cover, legs and wings, the bird then tosses up its prey and skillfully catches in its open beak.

Hudhud breed in spring and known to have filthiest nest among birds. It constantly makes a sound ‘Hoop-hoop’, as if saying its name Upupa epos in Latin. They are mostly seen in pairs and their bonding is built up strongly as they keep on feeding each other.

Enjoy the colours of this bird in your own lawn or garden or in a public garden or in the wilderness.

About Vinod Goel

He joined Customs & Central Excise service in 1982. As a civil servant, his job takes him to various parts of India, which gave him an opportunity to capture our wild heritage, through his camera. His passion for wildlife photography started in 2004 when he was posted at Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and this passion continues till today.