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Upupa epops 1 Luc Viatour.jpg
Scientific classification

Leach, 1820
Binomial name
Upupa epops
Linnaeus, 1758
Upupa distribution.png
Approximate range

The hoopoe (Upupa epops), is a colourful bird that is found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for its distinctive 'crown' of feathers.

It is the only living species in the family Upupidae. One insular species, the giant hoopoe of Saint Helena, is recently extinct, and the Madagascar subspecies of the hoopoe is sometimes elevated to a full species. The English name is derived from Latin upupa, which imitates the cry of the bird.

Taxonomy[change | change source]

The hoopoe is classified in the Coraciiformes clade, a group that also includes kingfishers, bee-eaters, rollers, and woodhoopoes (forming a clade with this one according to Hackett et al. (2008)[1]). A close relationship between the hoopoe and the woodhoopoes is also supported by the shared and unique nature of their stapes.[2]

Subspecies[change | change source]

U. e. epops photographed on April 6, 2008, Galicia, Spain.
Upupa epops, on a cherry tree.

Nine subspecies of hoopoe are recognised by the Kristin 2001 (in the Handbook of the Birds of the World). These subspecies vary mostly in size and the depth of colour in the plumage. Two more subspecies have been proposed, U. e. minor in South Africa and U. e. orientalis in north western India.

References[change | change source]

  1. Hackett, Shannon J.; Kimball, Rebecca T.; Reddy, Sushma; Bowie, Rauri C. K.; Braun, Edward L.; Braun, Michael J.; Chojnowski, Jena L.; Cox, W. Andrew; Han, Kin-Lan; Harshman, John; Huddleston, Christopher J.; Marks, Ben D.; Miglia, Kathleen J.; Moore, William S.; Sheldon, Frederick H.; Steadman, David W.; Witt, Christopher C.; Yuri, Tamaki (2008). "A Phylogenomic Study of Birds Reveals Their Evolutionary History". Science. 320 (1763): 1763–1768. Bibcode:2008Sci...320.1763H. doi:10.1126/science.1157704. PMID 18583609. S2CID 6472805.
  2. Feduccia, Alan (1975). "The Bony Stapes in the Upupidae and Phoeniculidae: Evidence for Common Ancestry" (PDF). The Wilson Bulletin. 87 (3): 416–417. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2012-06-12.