This is the only genus in the family. Bill slender, long, curved from the base; tongue very short. A well-marked and long coronal crest, the hinder feathers longest. Tarsus short, scutellate behind as in Alaudidae. Wing rounded, with 10 primaries. Tail moderate, of 10 rectrices.
The Hoopoes feed on the ground on grubs and insects and use as nests holes in trees, banks, or walls, frequently lining the hole with a little grass, feathers, or hair. The female sits very closely and is fed by the male. The nest-hole and the young smell very offensively, apparently owing to the dirty condition of the nest. The eggs are pale bluish or greenish white.
The genus ranges throughout the temperate and tropical parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Two species are Indian.
Key to the Species.
White between buff and black of crest-feathers……………….U. epops, p. 159.
No white on crest……………….U. indica, p. 161.