To come across this bird twice in a month is quite co-incidental .The first time was when the 12-year old conned me into buying a game called ” bird bingo”. This as it suggests is bingo but instead of numbers one pulls types of birds out a bag. Needless to say I never win just as with normal bingo. There were many exotic and odd birds in this game and in fact only a very few that I vaguely recognised. The Hoopoe bird caught my eye with an interesting name and exotic looks.
the second visitation of this bird was in Dubai. Peering over my hotel balcony I heard some rustling noises and caught a shadow under a tree. On closer inspection it was a Hoopoe bird. The third visitation was when walking around the grounds of the hotel, I saw one maybe 10 yards away, too far to get a photo on a Blackberry, so these photos are not mine but do demonstrate exactly how this wonderful bird looks. When it flies it has a low trajectory but takes off rather fast. I have chosen a few photos that demonstrate well what the bird really does look like.
They eat mainly insects and live in usually warm climates, but did 30 years ago appear in Southern England. Wikipaedia is enlightening as always. These are a few facts that caught my eye.
In the Bible, Leviticus 11:13–19, hoopoes were listed among the animals that are detestable and should not be eaten. They are also listed in Deuteronomy (14:18) as not kosher. The Hoopoe was chosen as the national bird of Israel in May 2008 in conjunction with the country’s 60th anniversary, following a national survey of 155,000 citizens, outpolling the White-spectacled Bulbul. It is also the state-bird of Punjab province of India. The Hoopoe appears on the Logo of the University of Johannesburg, and is the official mascot of the University’s sports. The municipality of Armstedt, Germany has a hoopoe in its coat of arms.