Hoopoes: #4 of my Small but Mighty Five

Hoopoes make #4 on my list of the Small but Mighty Five.

Why? Because look at that hairdo. That’s hard to beat.

Photo from https://justbirding.com/hoopoe-facts/

Although I try. First thing in the morning, I achieve hoopoe-head, although my do is not that colorful and by running my hands through it a couple of times, I reign mine in and flatten it down to respectable. But if I could keep this going all day, why wouldn’t I?

Photo from https://justbirding.com/hoopoe-facts/

Hoopoes aren’t large (less than a foot in length), but to me Hoopoes are mighty. Why? Because they make me laugh. Even their scientific name makes me giggle: upupa epops (the Latin and Ancient Greek names for them; they’re named for their cry).

Hoopoes frequented our little yard in Makhanda/Grahamstown.

So did a cat.

“Our” cat hunting in the grass
“Our” cat wondering when we were going to get around to feeding it. Sorry, Kitty.

But they never tangled.

Could be because Hoopoes are smart. But maybe it’s also because cats are smart. Hoopoes defend themselves using their beaks and, according to 30 Hoopoe Facts, by shooting feces at foxes. I would keep my distance too.

One more Hoopoe fact that gets this bird into my Small But Mighty Five: they get the Bible Animal Bonus. Hoopoes appear in Leviticus 11:19 and Deuteronomy 14:18 as animals not to be eaten, along with such mighty birds as the eagle, osprey, ostrich, hawk, stork, and heron (see preceding verses).

Next time: #5 of My Small but Mighty Five—the one that surprised me most.

6 thoughts on “Hoopoes: #4 of my Small but Mighty Five

  1. Great love the little facts about your Hoopoes and I agree with your choice for putting them on your small but mighty five list.

    Godspeed Peter

    On Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 3:47 PM Amy and Joe Go to Africa wrote:

    > Amy Richter posted: ” Hoopoes make #4 on my list of the Small but Mighty > Five. Why? Because look at that hairdo. That’s hard to beat. Photo from > https://justbirding.com/hoopoe-facts/ Although I try. First thing in the > morning, I achieve hoopoe-head, although my do ” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I recall that they play a prominent role in Aristophanes’ The Birds. Check it out — also, the hoopoe gets sardonic treatment in the story of Philomela in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

    I miss teaching the classical lit. survey at USNA….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post. All of the fun facts, the beauty of this creature and especially the ‘do’. What joy these birds bring. We have gold finches now. I like seeing their bright yellow little bodies on our feeder. Thanks for sharing another of God’s awesome gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

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