Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
My boys and I spread some bird seed in the garden beds over the weekend. I like to do this for a few reasons:
- the birds deposit manure right where I want them to
- the birds scratch up the dirt mixing in the manure
- while they are searching for seeds they will occasionally find a pest to eat
- the accidentally bury some of the seeds which will later sprout and either provide them food for later or I snip it out leaving the roots to provide additional organic matter to the beds
- and finally it is just fun to bird watch!
About an hour after the seeds were cast, I walked by the sliding glass doors and saw a bird I had not seen since I was touring through southern Africa. It was the amazingly beautiful Hoopoe. It saw me immediately and took to wing. Unfortunately I didn't have time to get the boys or my wife or a camera, but just getting to glimpse such a creature reminds me, yet again, why having a garden is such a worthwhile effort.
Another Hoopoe with the feathers of its head (crown) down.
Here is a distrubution map for the Hoopoe, for all you bird nerds like me out there.
Green: resident population
Orange: breeding summer visitor