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African Hoopoe feeding young

Epupa epops africana

African hoopoe feeding young in roof - 19KbAdult African Hoopoe with food in beak - 19Kb
When we stayed at Ol Tukai Lodge in Amboseli, Kenya, we discovered that we were lucky enough to have an African Hoopoe nesting in the roof of our 'cottage'.
The adult was kept very busy, as it had at least one young still in the nest, and also an older one which had already fledged, and was being fed on the lawn outside our room.
African Hoopoe with raised crest, with grub for young - 26KbAfrican Hoopoe at nest in roof cavity - 21Kb

The African Hoopoe used to be considered a separate species to the 'Eurasian' Hoopoe, but now most authorities (apart from Clements) make it a sub-species; there are intermediate plumages between the two forms.
In general, the African Hoopoe has more white in the secondaries (especially the male), but the primaries are entirely black, whereas the nominate epops subspecies (which migrates to East Africa during the northern winter) has a clear white band across the primaries, and a white subterminal band on its crest feathers, which are absent in africana.

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All text and images © Liz Leyden, 2008
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