Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops Linnaeus, 1758

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Upupidae Status: Breeding in Madeira

Recommended birdwatching trips to watch this bird

Porto Santo one day cruise

Eurasian Hoopoe Field ID Keys

Shape & Size

Medium-sized bird with long, slender, slightly curved bill and a long, fan-shaped crest usually held closed. It has short legs and broad, roundish wings.

Colour Pattern

Hoopoe’s head and body are pink-beige while its back, wings and tail are barred, black and white. Its pinkish crest has black tips. The tail is mostly black with a wide white band. Its bill and legs are dark.


As a terrestrial feeder it is normally seen probing the ground with its bill and with short, unsteady, bobbing head movements. While walking it keeps changing direction. Hoopoe’s flight is very floppy and erratic, resembling a giant butterfly and slightly undulating.


It is a widespread species through Central and South Europe in summer and North of Africa. Its main habitat is dry or fairly dry, flat or rolling country with few trees or bushes or with banks. In Madeira archipelago it only breeds in Porto Santo island, being an uncommon visitor to the island of Madeira.

Distinction from similar species

Its pattern is remarkable and unlike any other European species.

Upupa epops Biometrics

Wingspan: 42 - 46 cm (Beaman & Madge, 2011)
Total length: 26 - 28 cm (Beaman & Madge, 2011)
Weight: 60 - 75 g (Hume, 2002)

Other Bird Facts

Seasonality in Madeira: All year in Porto Santo
Breeding: Nests in holes in trees, banks and walls. Lays 5 to 8 eggs in a single brood between April and July.
Diet: It feeds on ground picking grubs, insects and worms.


Madeira local status by Correia-Fagundes et al, 2021: Common breeding bird
Madeira local status by Romano et al, 2010: Common breeding bird
Madeira local status by Zino et al, 1995: Common breeding bird
Conservation status by the IUCN Red List Categories, 2013: Least Concern ver 3.1

Name of this species in other languages

Portuguese: Poupa
German: Wiedehopf
Dutch: Hop
Swedish: Härfågel
Danish: Hærfugl
Finish: Harjalintu
Norwegian: Hærfugl
Spanish: Abubilla
French: Huppe fasciée
Italian: Upupa
Polish: Dudek
Slovak: Dudok chochlatý
Czech: Dudek chocholatý
English synonyms: Common Eurasian Hoopoe

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