Sunday, August 31, 2014

Creature Feature #316: Hoopoe

Sorry about all the birds recently.
Okay, so I'm not really sorry. I love drawing birds. But do not fear - we'll be up to "Horse" soon, followed by a very strange arthropod.

The Hoopoe is a colourful bird, found across Eurasia and Africa. His name comes from his call of "ooop-ooop-ooop". He is an insectivore, and solitary forager. During breeding season, he forms a monogamous bond and fiercely defends his territory from rivals. Ensuring fights can be brutal, with the males stabbing one another with their bills. This occasionally results in a blinding. Eggs are laid in a crevice. The female's uropygial glandstarts producing a foul-smelling liquid, which she rubs into her plumage. This makes her reek of rotting meat and acts as a deterrent to predators. If that fails, nestlings can direct streams of faeces at intruders, or stab them with their bills.

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