Whoopee it’s the hoopoe… et al!

Hello again!

As I mentioned in my last post — Bunnies and springtime flowers galore! — we have been suddenly inundated (here in the Cordovan hills) by seasonal birds that have made a comeback, as well as destructive caterpillars, lambkins and bunnies.

Two of the birds are regular visitors as you will see in the photos: there is the friendly Great Tit (Parus major) that alights on my window grilles, and though I like to flatter myself by presuming it has especially come to see me, I do know that the real excuse for it hovering by my window is to peck off any insects that have stuck on the glass. It calls out with its strident ‘chee-chee-chee-chee-chee!’

Then there is the hoopoe, that strikingly-coloured Old World bird with its zebra-coloured wings and crest. It is also called Upopa epops, and I used to mistake it for a woodpecker because of its long, curving beak.

This largish fella loves to perch itself on the neighbouring olive tree that grows just outside my bedroom window and carve its beak into the trunk in pursuit of bugs. It doesn’t build a nest, but simply adopts any hollows for its abode. It has a funny, distinctive call which sounds something like ‘Ku ku ku ku’… (pause) ‘ku ku ku’ (pause and repetitio unitatum…).

Interestingly enough, the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament banned this bird as a food source because it belongs to the same group as the vulture, eagle and pelican and therefore considered unclean and forbidden to Jews who deemed itabhorrent and not to be eaten’. However, in 2008 it was declared the national bird of Israel (though the national animal of Israel is the gazelle).

In this lovely link you can see and hear the hoopoe:

And here you can watch and listen to the boisterous Great Tit

The birdsong is very relaxing — I hope you can enjoy it!

Thank you for reading (and listening) — bye for now, take care! xxx

4 comentarios sobre “Whoopee it’s the hoopoe… et al!

  1. How lovely to have a hoopoe outside your window and that photo shows a really marvellous bird. We had great tits here all year and they do go quiet for a while in mid-winter. Once the days start to lengthen just a little bit, we suddenly hear them again. Needless to say they are very active at the moment. There is a general consensus that their call is ‘teach-er, teach-er’. We totally disagree with this and think it sounds like a rusty hinge. We don’t get hoopoes here as a rule but we do have a lot of woodpeckers in the oak woods close to us. We can hear half a dozen each morning as we do a regular walk.

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  2. We’re both lucky to be able to enjoy the sounds of the birds. I love the ‘rusty hinge’, that sounds so true! Right now as I am writing this, I can hear the ‘rattling’ call of the partridges that are wandering around amongst the bushes and olive trees. They’re quite bold little characters!

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