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 Sunning Hoopoe

Acrylic on illustration board
8" x 10"
 The single species of hoopoe (Upupa epops) ranges throughout most of Eurasia and Africa. It is unmistakeable with its pinkish crested head and boldly banded black and white body, these features varying somewhat among the nine or so races. Some taxonomists consider the sub-Saharan birds and the Madagascan ones to constitute two seperate species. Hoopoes feed mostly on caterpillars and other insects, which are normally taken while the birds walk about on the ground. Like their relatives the hornbills, these birds are cavity nesters, laying two to nine eggs in a hole in a tree, cutbank, termite mound or building.