Classe: Uccelli (Aves)
Dimensions: length 28 cm
Habitat: edges of the woodlands, thin low-altitude woodlands with old trees
Diet: ground insects, larvae
Reproduction: it nests in holes of old trees or in stone walls. The female broods 5-8 eggs for about 16 days
Cubs: they are looked after for about ten days without interruption. When threatened by a predator, they open their beak and spit out fluid excrements against the uncautious guest.
Curiosities: while flying, the hoopoe resembles a large butterfly.
Notes: despite its diet, the hoopoe has a tiny tongue, inadequate to carry to its mouth the insects that it captures with its beak. For this reason, it skillfully lifts its preys into the air and catches them with its wide-open mouth, in order to swallow them.
(photo by Nino Martino)