Hoopoe observations while Bird Ringing
September 2004 – by Peter Nupen
The first photo above taken in 2003, is of a male Hoopoe. Please note the rich chestnut brown colouration on the hind neck and back. More importantly, however, are the lack of black wing bars, giving a clear white window in the wing.
The second photo taken in September 2004, is of a Hoopoe female. Note the washed out brown colouration on the hind neck and back of this bird. NOW, note that the female has a complete set of black bars in her wings.
The third photo also taken in September 2004 is of a Hoopoe male, re-enforcing the differences of wing pattern and colour between the male and female Hoopoes.
Peter also mentions very importantly, please note that the African Hoopoe ( Upupa africana ) HAS NO WHITE SPOTS towards the end of its primary feathers, as can be seen in all three photos. These white spots occur in the European Hoopoe ( Upupa epops ).
The illustration given in Sasol, Birds of Southern Africa, Third Edition is incorrect, being epops, and NOT of africana.
Peter remarks “a mistake that I hope will be corrected in the future, and one that will not be carried forward into Roberts V11”.