Eurasian Hoopoe

What do you do when the pretty bird refuses to face your lens?

Stalk her? Well, that is what I did at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. From behind it was difficult to identify the bird. I had this urge to call it, make some kind of sound to look at me, to attract its attention. I dared not to, lest it flies away.

After many clicks the Eurasian Hoopoe kindly cast a side ward glance in my direction, blessing me with just one single shot before it flew off. The crest was flat, I found later to my disappointment on downloading the shot.

Many months later, at Kokkare Bellur near Bangalore I spotted one more Hoopoe. It was searching for its food among the short grass, in the soil. They mainly feed on spiders, earthworms, lizards and sometimes on frogs too. These birds keep walking around, digging their bills deep into the soil, often making you follow them through uneven paths.

This Hoopoe was slightly alarmed or disturbed by my presence, click on the image to see its erect crest.

Nestlings of Hoopoe can be nasty when you approach them. They defend themselves by hissing, jabbing with the bill, producing an evil-smelling secretion and even spraying feces. But the adults are well-mannered, I can confidently say from my experiences.


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My Flights of Fantasy at Kokrebellur, Karnataka

57 Responses to “Eurasian Hoopoe

  • I like these, particularly the graceful lines of the top shot.

  • Beautiful. As amazing as the name! (I first thought you had made it up :-))

  • what a beautiful bird, never saw it before. Nice picture, good capture. Best wishes from jeany

  • whoaaaa.. to be honest i think i only came across this bird in a discovery channel or some bird magazine.. good info! i like 😀

  • Lovely shots – amazing that its colours sort of blend in with the background!

  • A very interesting bird. You got some great shots.

  • Terrific shots, Indrani! I’ve never seen a bird like this so your post was even more interesting and fun. Glad you didn’t get sprayed!!

  • You did a good shots there and this is the first time I saw those kinds of birds.

  • Had been to Mangalore last weekend. and at our home, several species of birds come during this time. Will cpature some pics wen i go again this month end. Help me find their names please.

  • What a funny bird to watch 🙂
    He has no good cammouflage
    white with black stripes you
    can see him immediately 😉
    Very good shots you make !!!
    I personally always find it difficult to take a picture
    of a bird,
    they always fly so quickly away
    and I’m not quick with
    my camera LOL

  • Very nice pictures of Hoppoe. Is also known as woodpecker here!

  • simply amazing pics…loved all of them

  • I just realized that I’ve never seen a picture of this bird before, but I remember reading a novel decades ago that mentioned them. It was long before the Internet, so I jsut never got around to tracking them down! Nice to see one finally – and what a striking bird it is! They have bad-mannered children, but still, very pretty!

  • That is so cute. Love the beautiful patterns on its feathers.

  • seen it quite a few times..its indeed a lovely bird

  • Excellent shots! I like them very much.
    Sometimes I try to photograph ravens in Turin parks, but they are too fast for me! 🙂

  • WOW…. so unusual! And beautiful

  • nice capture …
    i too clicked few years back at Jim corbett national park and late in JNU campus deli…
    i love this

  • I have experienced the trouble in capturing birds. these pics comes out well and i wish when i gonna take like this 🙂

  • Ah, what a wonderful photo you captured, the bird cooperated! 🙂 An interesting name for this bird, I have never heard of it, but it is quite beautiful.

    I find the birds to be difficult subjects to photograph; a telephoto lens is a necessity in this regard, and I hope to get something better than the 200mm I have someday soon!

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

  • Wow, beautiful bird photos. That’s interesting info about the nestlings.

  • They camouflage themselves so well. Well done.

  • absolutely gorgeous, good shot..

  • What a beauty so exotic.

  • This is a very beautiful bird. It looks a bit like our jay. You are clever to take such good shots without disturbing the bird. Have a great weekend.

  • Wonderful! I love birds and love learning new things! Thank you!

  • I didn’t know that they were so widely distributed! I’ve always wanted to see one, but no luck until now. Your pictures are great, it’s amazing how well the birds blend into the background.

  • Wow thanks for the info about how hoopoes defend themselves. It’s nice to learn something about birds today.

  • Informative! Thanks for sharing:)Great shots too!

  • What an amazing bird. I love the photos. I would have never seen one if I had not come here today. Thanks for sharing the info. I am a big fan of all birds.

  • You have done well to capture a hoopoe on camera. I always seem to have trouble snapping birds. They move so fast.

  • Wonderful shots !!

    What gorgeous marking on the wings..

  • I’ve heard supermodels behave much the same way 😉

  • Beautiful shots of an amazing bird. It obviously pays to be patient. I look forward to more shots from you 🙂

  • These are wonderful shots! I love the color.

  • You consistently touch high standards with your great pictures and superb narrative.

  • Great pictures of a cute bird! Thanks for sharing.

  • great shots
    the bird seems new to me we dont have it here in Philippines
    have a great day and happy blogging

  • Beautiful bird and the photographs.

  • What a beautiful bird! I’ve never seen it before. Have a nice day!

  • Experience as in you have been the victim of Hoopoe assault:):)?

    Love the shots of the elusive little thing! Way to stay diligent…

  • Excellent shots! They blend so well with the scenery that it would be a trick to spot them at all!

  • You’re very good at what you do and it is a pleasure to visit your blog…always…!

  • that bir is ezquisite Sandy

  • Hi Indrani! Great pictures; and you definitely managed to catch it quite well!! Don’t remember ever seeing one of these; maybe in the zoo…

    You wouldn’t guess where Blogtrotter was on the last post… Enjoy and have a great week!

  • That’s a very interesting bird. Great capture!. The nestlings do indeed sound nasty.

  • Interesting bird! Such a thrill to be able to see it in the wild.

  • What a fascinating bird and such incredible camera work to capture it so well. This wonderful bird rewarded your patience. That’s a gift.

  • Indrani: What a beautiful bird, neat head display.

  • Perhaps it’s just as well she refused to face the camera: her backside is beautiful too!

  • That is one of the neatest looking birds EVER! Fantastic photos – this is GREAT!

  • Great Shot! I love it!

  • i’m jealous you were able to capture a picture of a bird. i can’t capture myself one cause they would immediately fly away. Great shot.

  • Sweetly u have narrated…

  • True.
    Indian birds are fussy.
    They need to be stalked..!

    Please see foreign birds who pose cutely at

    After careful examination, I deduce that it was the Hoopoe that has stalked you, many months later. The Hoopoe of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan and the
    Kokkare Bellur is “the same”. Right?

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