The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Hoopoe

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HOOPOE, hoo'pō, a peculiar bird of the Old World, which takes both its vernacular and scientific name (Upupa) from its whooping cry. It is of the group Coccygomorphæ (q.v.) and represents a family (Upupidæ), many species of which inhabit southern Asia and Africa, while one (U. epops) is a well-known migrant in Europe. It is about 12 inches long, is brown above and white beneath, with black, white-barred wings and a very large cinnamon-red black-tipped crest and a long, sharp, curved bill. It seeks its food on the ground, nests in holes in trees, crannies in walls, etc., and has many curious trails and habits which have caused the bird to take a prominent place in the folklore of all countries. The African hoopoes belong to the genus Irrisor and are called wood-hoopoes. They have brilliant plumage but no crest. They go about in noisy flocks and have much the appearance and habits of woodpeckers.