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Apr 9, 2022

[Answer] How many species of hoopoe are known?

Step 1 : Introduction to the question " How many species of hoopoe are known? "


The hoopoe birds are interesting in that they have wide ranging habitats in Africa, Europe and Asia. They are distinctive with a crown of feathers and long beaks. Initially, they were thought to be one species, but have been later classified into four, one of which is the extinct species that used to live on the island of St. Helena. The three existing species are the Eurasian Hoopoe, the Madagascan Hoopoe and the African Hoopoe. Earlier, the Great Hoopoe Lark was considered to be another species among these hoopoes.

Their cry gives them the onomatopoeic name. Their diet is mostly small insects, birds, frogs and other animal matter, but they occasionally are also known to eat berries and plants.

They are generally monogamous and territorial. They nest in trees and the nests may be lined with scraps or unlined. The female is responsible for incubation. During incubation, which is about 15 to 18 days, the male feeds the female. The Northern hemisphere hoopoes lay more eggs in a clutch than the Southern ones and there are more in higher latitudes than closer to the Equator. A typical clutch has seven to twelve eggs which are a light blue when laid.

The chicks are hatched with downy feathers, but develop quills soon after. They are brooded for about nine days to two weeks and then the mother joins the male to bring food.

The chicks stay in the nests for a little more than a month before leaving their nests.

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