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Hoopoes: Upupidae

Physical Characteristics

Hoopoes (HOO-pooz) are medium-sized perching and ground birds that are especially popular because of their highly patterned plumage, feathers. They also have very long, thin, decurved, slightly bent, bills; small head; large, stiffened fan-like crest, tuft on top of head; broad, rounded wings; short, squared tails; and short legs. Bold plumage on the chest can vary in color between pinkish brown, pinkish orange, chestnut, and rufous (reddish), while feathers on the wings, back, and tail are black with bold white stripes. The particular widths of stripes depend on which continent the hoopoe is located. The crest and head are both tipped with black. The bill is shaped specifically so its muscles can move to easily open and close its bill while the bird searches for food. Males and females are very similar in appearance. Juveniles are duller in color than adults; with white wings that show a small amount of cream color and a crest and bill that is relatively short. Adult hoopoes are 10.2 to 12.6 inches (26 to 32 centimeters) long, and weigh between 1.3 and 3.1 ounces (38 and 89 grams).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsHoopoes: Upupidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HOOPOES AND PEOPLE