African Hoopoe Birding Video (Hoopoe eating Worms)

African Hoopoe Birding Video (Hoopoe eating Worms)

Hoopoe eating a worm on Birding Planet

The Story:

This is another bird I filmed while visiting some family on their farm near Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape.

The Hoopoe is an easily recognizable bird with is long tapering, black bill and its distinctive ‘crown’ or ‘crest‘ of feathers.  It is chestnut coloured and has black and white stripes on the wings and tail.

 Hoopoe Raising Crest on Birding Planet
Raising its crest (

The crest on his head usually raises when the bird is nervous or startled.  The hoopoe has an extra strong muscle and bone structure in of the head which allows the bill to be opened when probing deep inside the ground while searching for food. He gave me quite a show as he enjoyed a feast of three worms and some bugs.


Hoopoe Eating Worm on Birding Planet
Eating a worm (on Birding Planet)

What to look out for in this Hoopoe Birding video:

  • Hoopoe eats first bug (at  30secs)
  • It raises his crest  (at 14s, 38s, 48s)
  • He eats first worm  (at 56s)
  • He eats second worm  (at 1m41s)
  • Eats third worm    (at 2m28)
  • Eats a bug (3m02s)
  • Hoopoe in flight  (at 4m01s)

For maximum HD effect it is recommended that you watch this video in full screen mode:

Vital Stats: 


The adult is 25–32 cm (9.8–12.6 in) long, with a 44–48 cm (17–19 in) wingspan.

It weighs between 46g and 89 g (1.6–3.1 oz)

Hoopoe Diet:

Their diet is mostly composed of insects and worms.  Ocassionally small  frogs and lizards  will be eaten, and also seeds.

The bird will also eat moth pupae which damages forests and because of this the Hoopoe is given legal protection in many countries.

Scientific Name:

Upupa epops  (Hoopoe)
Upupa Africana (African Hoopoe)

Distribution Map (Where it is found)

The hoopoe is widespread in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar.

See also  African Paradise Flycatcher - Diving for Insects Video

Conservation Status:

Least Concern

Related Birds:

The hoopoe is classed with kingfishers, bee-eaters, rollers, and woodhoopoes.

African Hoopoe in Flight
In Flight
© All pictures by Rory Wilson for
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Rory Wilson

I am an avid hiker, birdwatcher and camper. I love the outdoors. I initially started Birding Planet to share my bird videos, now I enjoy connecting with birdwatchers around the world. Come join the Birding Planet group at

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