1580. Upupa epops saturata

(1580) Upupa epops saturata Lonnberg.
The Tibetan Hoopoe.
Upupa epops saturata, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 310.
In India this is the form of Hoopoe breeding in Sikkim, while Korth of this it extends to the Yenesei and thence East to Mongolia and Manchuria. It is very common in Tibet, Setzchuan and the higher ranges of Northern China.
It breeds certainly up to 14,000 feet and almost certainly up to 16,000 feet ; on the other hand, I have no record of its breeding below some 12,000 feet, though it may do so in Sikkim.
In its nesting habits it differs but little from the European bird. Generally the nest is made in holes in walls, cither those dividing the fields or retaining the roads etc., or in those of both occupied and unoccupied buildings. Often they are placed in between the rafters, and they have been known to build in holes inside the houses and within reach of the hands of the many occupants. Occasionally holes in trees are chosen as nesting-sites and, about equally often, holes in banks.
As might be expected at such great elevations, the nest is normally a bulky one and, according to Steen, Kennedy, McGregor and others, the eggs are never laid on the bare earth. The nests are said also to be almost invariably well lined with wool. They have the same fetid smell as the nests of the preceding race, one which adheres to the eggs also for some weeks after they have been taken and cleaned.
The breeding season is but little later in Tibet than it is in Kashmir, and I have eggs taken as early as the 6th April, my latest date being the 30th June, The majority of birds, however, lay in late April and early May.
The number of eggs laid varios from five to nine, generally seven or eight.
They go through the same range of variations as do the eggs of the European Hoopoe, but average a good deal darker and more often stain deep olive-grey rather than brown, probably due to some variation in the materials upon which they lie.
Sixty eggs average 26.3 x 18.3 mm. : maxima 29.1 x 21.0 mm. ; minima 24.2 x 17.3 and 25.0 x 16.0 mm.
In shape they are long ovals but are broader, more bulky eggs than those of the preceding bird.
Like all Hoopoes, the hen bird of this species sits very closely and can generally be captured on the eggs, though she bites savagely at the hand which holds her.
They are said to return year after year to the same hole in the occupied houses of the Tibetans, who never interfere with them.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1580. Upupa epops saturata
Spp Author: 
Lonnberg.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1580
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
444
Common name: 
Tibetan Hoopoe
M_ID: 
9537
M_CN: 
Eurasian Hoopoe
M_SN: 
Upupa epops
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
14729

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