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Conservation status: Green

The hoopoe is an exotic looking bird that is the size of a mistle thrush. It has a pinkish-brown body, striking black and white wings, a long black downcurved bill, and a long pinkish-brown crest which it raises when excited. It does not breed in the UK, but as many as 100 birds can turn up in spring (mostly seen as single birds) as birds migrating north to Europe from Africa overshoot and land on the south coast of England.



Latin name

Upupa epops


Hoopoe (Upupidae)

Where to see them

The best chance of seeing one is during spring migration along the south coast and not far inland, but birds have turned up as far north as Shetland.

When to see them

Most birds turn up in late April and May.

What they eat

Insects and spiders.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-Occasionally breeds-100 birds




Zdenek Vermouzek, Xeno-canto