1066. Upupa epops.
The European Hoopoe.
Upupa epops, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 183 (1766); Blyth, Cat. p. 46; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 723 ; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 390 ; Scott, Ibis, 1866, p. 222; 1867, p. 135; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 26; Beavan, Ibis, 1870, p. 310; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 99 ; xiv, pt. 2, p. 71; Jerdon, Ibis, 1872, p. 21; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xii, pt. 2, p. 44; Brooks, ibid. p. 75; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 182 ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 174; xi, p. 87: id. Cat. no. 254 ; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 462; v, p. 228; ix, p. 391; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 209; Tidal, S. F. ix, p. 57; Davison, S. F. x, p. 364 ; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 412; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 141; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 337; Salvin, Cat. B. M. xvi, p. 4.
Hud-hud, Pers. & H.; Sutdr, Mahr.; Sukdudu, Chamba; Katkuto, Sind.
Coloration. Crest rufous-fawn, all the feathers with black tips, and on the longer feathers the rufous passes into pure white before the black end is reached ; sides of head, chin, neck all round, and breast varying from sandy to pale rufous with a vinous tinge; upper back and wings along forearm light brown, then a black band, followed by a buffy-white one, crosses the wings and back, with a second black and a second white band on the wings, but the lower back is black or brown ; the rump white ; upper tail-coverts black, and tail black with a white bar across it halfway down ; quills black, the first primary generally, but not always, with a white spot on the inner web, the other primaries with a white band across them, imperfect on the innermost; secondaries with white bases and four white bands; tertiaries brown, edged with buff and with an oblique buff band near the shaft on the inner web; abdomen white, with dark brown streaks in front.
Bill dark brown, pinkish at the base; irides red-brown; legs and feet plumbeous.
Length about 12; tail 4; wing 5.8 ; tarsus 9 ; bill from gape straight to point 2.5. Females rather less : wing 5.5 ; bill 2.3.
Distribution. In summer throughout the Southern Palaearctic region, including the Himalayas, migrating in winter to Africa, Arabia, and India as far south as Ratnagiri, the Deccan, Chutia Nagpur, Sylhet, and Manipur. Henderson found this bird common on the desert plateau of Ladak.
Habits, &c. Hoopoes are chiefly found in open country, cultivated or waste, and keep generally on the ground, though they perch occasionally. They are sprightly and familiar birds, and may be seen running about and searching for insects and especially grubs, which they extract with their long bills from some distance beneath the surface. The crest is usually kept folded back, but is raised quickly if the bird is excited or alarmed. The note is a double or treble sound like hoop. This species breeds in the Western Himalayas in April and May, and lays from 4 to 7 pale bluish-white eggs, measuring about 1.14 by .7.
* This discovery has just been made bv Gadow, and is announced in ' Newton's Dictionary of Birds' (pt. iii, 1894), pp. 617, 618, fig. V. Hitherto it had been supposed that the plantar tendons of Hoopoes were free, as in Passeres.