Monday, August 26, 2013

More About the Hoopoe!

     I have written about the hoopoe, that is Upupa epops, a distinctive pinkish brown bird with a large crest on its head, a long decurved bill and wonderful checkerboard black and white wings. Please see my post of 1/17/2011. I wrote in some detail about the life of this attractive bird.
      Since I wrote that post in 2011, many YouTube videos of the hoopoe have appeared on the Internet. Here are several that are very interesting to watch. Following is an adult hoopoe catching a grub and eating it:

There are two quite long videos of a pair of nesting hoopoes in Israel. These videos are quite nice and show the birds growing even from day to day. Lively Israeli Hebrew songs accompany the videos.  I suggest watching at least some of each of these two videos.
     Then there is a video of a hoopoe giving its call and you can see where its English name comes from.

     I also promised you during my last post that I would show you some of the philatelic material that I picked up at Stampshow 2013 in Milwaukee. It turns out that in 2008, Israel conducted a vote in schools and in some other public places to determine the national bird. The hoopoe beat out the white spectacled bulbul. Therefore it is not surprising to see this philatelic item so effectively showing the hoopoe. It is a wonderful sheetlet of Israeli stamps, issued on 10/20/2009, one of the three types of stamps showing the hoopoe perched and the tag showing the hoopoe in flight.

          My other  hoopoe purchase was a First Day Cover with the four stamps from 1970 Helvetia or Switzerland issue showing 4 birds, one of them a hoopoe.
     There are many other stamps issued around the world, particularly in the Eastern Hemisphere by countries in the south of Europe and across Africa and Asia, where the hoopoe is present. Apparently ninety+ such stamps have been issued. We do not have a similar bird here in the Western Hemisphere. Perhaps that is why this bird seems so fascinating to me. There have been occasional visits to southern Alaska by this bird but otherwise it has never been a recorded vagrant to the continental US.
     Here is a partial checklist with photos of most of the stamps featuring the hoopoe.
Afghanistan 1985

North Vietnam
East Germany

Romania Maximum card

West Germany, 1963

Poland, 1967



Mongolia, 1967


Romania, 1994


Cambodia, 1987


Bechuanaland (now Botswana)
Scott # 169, with Queen Elizabeth
Issued in June, 2008
      Well, I was planning on making a checklist picturing the many stamps with hoopoe on them with labels showing their year of issue and country of Issue. I thought it might help some stamp collectors. I was even thinking of making such a topical collection myself. Then I found the following site, that I had not known about before. Now I see there is no need for me to do this and I am getting tired of doing it anyway. This site is amazing: you can enter any bird and all the known stamps with that bird on it are shown in nice little colored thumbnails. The bird can be magnified by clicking the little magnifier to the side of the stamp. If you click on one of the stamps, all the bird stamps of all species will be shown from that country. Wow, very nice website for collectors of birds on stamps.   

No comments:

Post a Comment