The Common Hoopoe
Did you know? The Hoopoes have well-developed anti-predators defences in the nest. The uropygial gland of the incubating and brooding female is quickly modified to produce a foul-smelling liquid, and the glands of nestlings do so as well. These secretions are rubbed into the plumage. The secretion, which smells like rotting meat, is thought to help deter predators, as well as deter parasites and possibly act as an antibacterial agent. The secretions stop soon before the young leave the nest. In addition to this secretion nestlings are able to direct streams of faeces at nest intruders from the age of six days, and will also hiss at intruders in a snake like fashion. The young also strike with their bill or with one wing. Another interesting fact is that Hoopoes were considered sacred in Ancient Egypt, so they were “depicted on the walls of tombs and temples”. They achieved a similar standing in Minoan Crete. Hoopoes were seen as a symbol of virtue in Persia. They were thought of as thieves across much of Europe and harbingers of war in Scandinavia. Also, in Estonian tradition the Hoopoes are strongly connected with death and the underworld, their song is seen as a forebode of death for many a people or cattle. The Hoopoe is the king of the birds in the Ancient Greek comedy The Birds by Aristophanes. It is also the state-bird of Punjab province of India.
The Common Hoopoe is called as Hudhud in Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati. In Gujarati it is also called as Ghanti tankno. In Tamil it is called as Chaval kuruvi. In Telugu it is called Kukudu pitta, In Malayalam its called Uppooppan.
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