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Birding Málaga


Common name Eurasian hoopoe
Scientific name Upupa epops
Type Shrubland birds
Status Resident

Medium-sized bird (about 27 cm or 10.5 in), very characteristic for its plumage of ocher, white and black tones; its broad and rounded wings and the crest it has on its head, a plume of feathers that usually unfolds in a semicircle. The tail is wide and black, traversed by a wide white band. The Eurasian Hoopoe has a long, curved bill. Its colouring, crest and bill make it easy to identify when perched. It flies in a butterfly-like manner, flapping irregularly, with slight undulations in its trajectory.



Where it lives

This hoopoe inhabits not very dense woods, grassland, pastures, parks, gardens, cultivated areas and golf courses. It is a bird of open spaces but needs trees. Scarce in high altitude areas and more humid climates, since it prefers warm environments.

How it lives

The Eurasian Hoopoe is a summer migratory species that has established itself as a resident of the province. It breeds from May and usually builds the nest in tree holes and other cavities, laying 7 to 10 eggs. The chicks defend the nest by excreting a smelly substance. This hoopoe feeds on the ground: insects, snails and larvae. It plumbs the leaf litter and soil thanks to its bill.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Abundant and frequent bird in the province of Malaga. Eurasian hoopoes can be watched practically in all the Great Path.

Curious facts

Not many years ago Eurasian hoopoes used to arrive in Malaga in March to breed. Because of this and their crest they were popularly known as "the March roosters" ("gallitos de marzo" in Spanish) and their presence was a symptom of the arrival of spring. When they are excited and perched, they unfold the crest of feathers of their head. Their song ("oop-oop-oop") is very characteristic and therefore these birds have the Latin name of Upupa.

Routes where it can be observed
Wintering Summer Resident Migration