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Hoopoe for Martin

Hoopoe for Martin
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 3, Dedications I have made, Animals from my garden [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-06-22 15:37
Viewed: 6469
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 134
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hoopoe / Upupa epops

Today's posting I would like to dedicate to Martin Lukasiewicz (MartinL). In the short time that I have been part of Trek Nature, I have learn to know him as one of a small number of members that will really show his appreciation and give acknowledgement for the striving both Loot and myself put into our notes and critiques. It is people like Martin that makes it worth the while to really put effort into the contents of the notes that accompanies our postings, to make it special, hopefully useful and educational and more interesting for the viewer.

Martin's gallery is filled with a variety of spectacular birds in vibrant colours in all different poses, shapes and sizes. Do yourself a favour and drop by his gallery some time for a treat of some lovely bird shots. This one is for you Martin.

Members that have been reading my notes would know by now that it has become part of a routine especially over weekends to take a stroll through the garden with the camera looking for something to photograph. On this specific day I took this image I was actually ill with pleurisy, but I really felt out of routine not taking my daily walk.

I am sure that many of you will agree that once the photographic bug has bitten, it is difficult to let it go again. I thought I'd sneak out the house and just take a tiny stroll, and be back inside before Loot notice that I am not in bed doing what a sick person is supposed to do - resting, and taking it easy.

Dear oh dear, how I misjudged myself and the time I have been outside. The variety of birds I saw this day, including this Hoopoe was just great, and I absolutely could not get enough. Needles to say, I was not very popular on my return inside and also had myself to blame for the discomfort and the pain I experienced in the days to come.

I personally think this is a gorgeous bird, and I am quite pleased in the way I caught it with its back towards me. This way one can really appreciate the beauty of the detail and patterns of the plumage on its back.

General summary:
The remarkable black and white tipped crest, when elevated like the headgear of a Red Indian, conspicuous barring of the back and broad wings, together with vinous head, neck and under parts make the bird unmistakable.

The African hoopoe must be one of the best-loved birds in Southern Africa. Its habit of raising its fan-shaped crest now and then gives it an air of comic appeal and its short, delicate footsteps and nodding head make it look a bit like a fussy old lady on a shopping expedition.

The hoopoe gets its name from its two-to-three-syllable hoop-hoop-hoop call which you can hear mostly in the late winter and early spring when the birds are establishing territories and trying to attract mates. It uses its long, thin bill to probe in the soil for insect larvae and worms. As it walks along it pushes the bill into the ground like a sewing machine needle, every now and then extracting a tasty morsel.

Such a conspicuous bird might seem vulnerable to cats and other predators, but observations have been made that although cats may show initial interest, it will soon abandon the hunt because hoopoes taste bad and smell very pungent. The black and white colouring is a warning device to indicate the unpleasant flavour to would be predators. This is why hoopoes can nest in holes in the ground in the presence of snakes, rodents and mongooses, without coming to harm. The unlined nest hole smells foul, so it is no wonder that other animals find these birds and their nesting cavities distasteful.

Between July and December the female lays two to six white-pored, greenish-blue eggs, and incubates them for about 17 days. Two or three broods may be reared each season. Both sexes then feed the young for about 30 days after hatching.

Taken from the book: Animals of the Kruger Park and Lowveld Published by Heritage Publishing.

Interesting News:
After five months of suspense, the hoopoe is crowned Israel's state bird. The hoopoe has beaten nine other finalists to secure the title of Israel's state bird. The winner was announced at the President's Residence in Jerusalem. President Shimon Peres declared the brown, black and white-crested bird the winner of a competition timed to coincide with Israel's 60th anniversary.

The hoopoe (duhifat, in Hebrew) won 35% of the votes, beating the warbler (10%) and the finch (9.8%). The national bird selection process, sponsored by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) began about five months ago. Voters chose from a list of 10 species on the SPNI website. Surveys show that 46% of the votes for the winning bird came from Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Broadcasted on National Television in association with Reuters - 01 June 2008.

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

vanderschelden, ramthakur, red45, boreocypriensis, bahadir, gracious, uleko, eng55, dB_grafix, zulfu, maurydv, goldyrs, PaulH, darwin, PeterZ, mayuresh, sandpiper2, anel, eqshannon, JPlumb, Janice, SelenE, Luis52, JORAPAVI, lovenature, haraprasan, Alex99, Silvio2006, Rehanna, jusninasirun, writerscrawlz, pablominto, pilonm, marhowie, CeltickRanger, pierrefonds, manyee, rcrick, peter_stoeckl, xTauruSx, jpdenk, Hormon_Manyer has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Anna,
I must say you are definitely a talented writer.
I hope you don't mind I'm writing this.
Furthermore I hope you can cope with your health.
About your work this is taken at a very good moment 'cause the pose is very effective. You already described well in your note why...
I spotted this bird only once or twice in Kruger. It is not so common apparently.
The photo is technically very well done and you applied a good POV and DOF. If I'm not mistaken this bird is often spotted on the ground. So photographing it in the grasses.. it's possible the latter could be quite distracting. The less natural 'human' perch here has certainly its advantages.
Well done


I opened up TN this afternoon to find Your wonderful dedication. Thank you so much Anna. It really means a lot to me. For one, it is dedicated by such a wonderful person as You and secondly you’ve taken this shot feeling ill. I really hope you didn’t feel too badly after this excursion and will make a quick recovery. I really do appreciate your kind words and this beautiful image. Many thanks!
I am glad you find my pictures interesting. I’ve been taking pictures for just over a year now and TN has helped me improve a lot. There is so much talent, so many people from around the world share their passion for photography here. It is an awesome community, actually the best one I have seen so far when it comes to nature photography. It has a very friendly atmosphere and gets really addictive really quickly. Again it is members like You and Loot who put a lot of their free time and effort into each posting that make this venue so great. (I just wish I had more time to enjoy it fully – I’ve got too much going on at the moment).
Again, thank you so much for this wonderful dedication. This picture is definitely going into my favorites list. You’ve captured this one beautifully and I fully agree about the pose – it shows the beauty of this bird very well. It is fascinating to hear about its defense mechanisms – this is just one more example of how well your notes are written. Superb work Anna. I wish you a speedy recovery. Thanks!

Best Regards,


  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-06-22 23:06]

Hello Anna!

Excellent picture of very rare [to me] and beautifull bird. Good pose, details and very interesting note.

Hello Anna
Perfect shot and great notes in all aspects. TFS. Regards,

Hello Anna,
You got the best notes ever!
as for the image, very good close up with perfect sharpness, wonderful colour and very good details in it
many thanks for this great sharing

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2008-06-23 0:26]

Fantastic shot Anna, very nice capture with a superb composition.
Superb detail, and excellent bright colours.
Very sharp and clear.
Thanks for posting.

A lovable capture of a Hoopoe from the rear giving a fine impression of its plumage, Anna.
The head is turned around enough to show its crested shapely head in profile.
The focus is phenomenally sharp and the colours are true to life.
Best regards.

Hi Anna
Baie mooi foto Anna. Jy het omtrent baie moeite gedoen met jou notas. Jy was gelukkig om hom so naby af te neem want hulle is mos maar skaam.
Hoop jy voel gou beter

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-06-23 1:03]

Hello Anna,
I love this bird and you've captured it so well here against a plain background that makes it really stand out. You've timed it very well to get a clear profile as well as a fine view of the beautiful plumage on its back. Impressive sharpness too and fine natural colours. Well done!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Good Morning Anna,

A splendid shot of a hoopoe with superb clarity, wonderful DOF and POV. Your notes are also excellent and extremly usefull as usual my friend. Great composition and worthy dedication to a excellent photographer, Martin that we are newly meet in TN. Many thanks for sharing this beauty my friend!
Have a great new week!


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-06-23 1:07]

Hi Anna,
Beautiful capture of this hoopoe.I liked colors,pose of bird,framing and composition a lot.Excellent work!
Thanks for posting.

Incredible looking bird Anna.
I can really say I haven't seen one of these before.
I can't believe how clear this is.
Perfect details.
I also like your notes.
All around impressive.
Best wishes.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-06-23 1:25]

Hello Anna, superb and great capture of this beautiful bird. TFS. Regards,

Meravigliosa cattura di questa bellissima Upupa, uccello simbolico (in Italia č l'emblema della L.I.P.U. Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli), eccellenti POV e composizione con la posa su questo pavimento lastricato tipico anche delle nostre case di agricoltori (anch'io ho fotografato, una sola volta, questo uccello in una simile situazione, ma le mie immagini non sono molto riuscite), ottima nitidezza e straordinaria definizione dei dettagli del piumaggio, splendidi i colori. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Indeed, a splended shot of this hoopoe.The catchlight in the eye is very nice, as are the lovely details...
Very nicely done, my friend.
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-06-23 2:42]

Hi Anna,
Firstly i am sorry to hear you have not been well, and wish you a full and speedy recovery! It can be extremely frustrating not being able to get out into nature and to only view it through a window!
This is one of the most interesting and beautifully marked birds i have ever seen...wow! And you have these running arund your garden? Lucky you! I agree on the pose, it's shows off the markings perfectly - well done!

Hello Anna,
first I want to thank You for all Your good criticques for my works, it is always nice to read Your opinions and comments. Great note for this nice picture, very nice dedication.
Best wishes for You! Keep posting and writing:)

Hi Anna
Yes you have captured a wonderful pose showing fine detail and lovely color in the plumage
Hope you get well soon and get out more often to take a lot more fantastic shots
tfs jon

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-06-23 3:37]

Hello Anna, Fantastic sharp picture. Excellent PoV and strong composition. Great clarity and wonderful note. Ganesh

Great shot and equally great notes, Anna! The point of view clearly shows off the contrasting plumage of this beautiful bird. Well done!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-06-23 4:17]

Hello Anna,
Maybe the birds you saw had a bit compassion with your state of health. They come to visit you. All the best with your recovery.
Your notes are always a pleasure to read. Very nice dedication.
The photo is excellent. How can you come so close? Colours and sharpness are marvelous.

Hello Anna,
An excellent shot!you have capture it very well with nice pose and lovely composition,sharpness and lighting is superb,

Hi Anna

Great shot of the hoopoe. As you say, great pose.
Good sharpness and plumage details.
Great composition on the pathway.

I hope you recover quickly from your illness.

Best wishes

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-06-23 6:00]

Hello Anna,
I'm a little jealous that you have this bird in your garden! It is definitively my favourite too and I understand Israel's choice. In Valais we sometimes can see this bird too. It is true that the choice to show it from the back is great, because we can see its superb plumage and it was helding its head just in the right position too.
Un grand merci and take care of yourself

A most unusual looking bird. A bit like the shape of a jay but of course some major body changes...you present a fascinating image. Interesting flooring...is that some sort of masonry work? Is it a road or a walk? Very good composition.

Hi Anna, these are a very interesting looking bird. I've never seen one, only pictures, and yours is one of the better ones of those. I like the very close look you provide in this presentation of yours, showing excellent detail and colour on this bird. The pose it has provided is a good one, giving a good view of the back plumage as well as the profile from the turned head.

Anna, you write a wonderful note, and it is a great dedication, but you have also told us of your condition in this note, so take a break from the pictures, your health is more important. Take care and listen to your husband, (sometimes husbands do know what they are saying), and get well soon.

Thanks, John

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-06-24 3:19]

Oh Anna, he is a darling!! What a quaint looking character he is. Yes, gorgeous is the right word!!

Those stripes on his head are so unusual, and the wonderful colours and patterns must have helped make him Israel's state bird.

And I trust the pleurisy has all gone by now.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-06-24 7:02]

Hello Anna
There is nothing like a stroll to enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer to give one the mental energy to recover from an illness, even though there may have been some drawbacks in you convalescence as a result. I hope that by now you are fully recovered from your pleurisy.

Anyhow you made a fine capture of this Hoopoe taken from a nice low POV with good sharpness and in an excellent pose that shows the striking beauty of this bird against the paving in your garden. Thanks for sharing this beauty,
Best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-06-24 7:28]

Excellent portrait of this Hoopoe, Anna!
What fine detail in the feathers and this is very sharp.
Superb DOF.
Great composition and POV.
Brilliant light.

Well done!


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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-06-24 7:37]

Hello Anna, what a beautiful bird and a great capture of it! Very sharp and well exposed, lovely composition and pose, well done, thanks!


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  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-06-24 9:11]

Hi Anna,
It's a very nice dedication for Martin. Also I have to agree with Annick that you are a very talented writer :o) I liked your POV and the pose you caught of this hoopoe.
Hope you'll recover and feel better soon
Take care of yourself,
All the best,

Hola Anna,
Preciosa imagen de este hermoso pajarillo, gran definición, luz y magníficos colores. TFS. Saludos
José Ramón

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  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-06-25 6:50]

Hola Anna.
You have a very special guest in Your home. I had never seen this beauty a real life, the long beack and the colorful feathers are just amazing.
Martin should be glad for this present, He is gong to like it a lot for sure.
Your note is also very educatinal Anna.

Ola Anna
Maravilhosa foto desta incrivel ave, suas cores săo bem curiosas e os desenhos nelas espetaculares.

Hi Anna..Beautiful bird and picture...Good dedication for your friend...Lovely colour and perfect pose...Regards, Leyla

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-06-26 0:12]

Hello Anna
what a wonderful sight!
I would love to see a Hoopoe!
Great composition and pose.
Vibrent colours and lighting.
Good sharpness and clarity.
Well done,

Hi Anna
Magnifique photo de ce bel oiseau que je decouvre sur ce site et qui semble trčs agile! Les couleurs et la composition sont superbes. La netteté est parfaite.Le bg est super beau, Merci de partager!
Bravo et au revoir....JP

Hi Anna
I can see why the hoopoe was made a national bird. It has an amazing colour pattern. Very unique and original looking. I also like the the pose with his head cocked to one side. Love it!
Take care.
TFS Janice

Hi Anna,
A lovely capture of this beautiful Hoopoe. Superb details and a lovely composition. A nice dedication. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hello Anna,

Beautiful capture of this hoopoe. Excellent POV, DOF and sharpness. Good light and superb colours.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-06-26 21:56]

Hello Anna

A super capture of this lovely bird.
The pov is terrific.
Excellent plumage markings and details.
Great job.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-06-26 22:16]

Hi Anne.
I watch this photo with great pleasure. I have met this charming bird only few times and could take only few bad shots. You managed to reflect the beauty excellently. Your low POV and its turning are amazing as well as rich clean colours and terrific sharpness of the image. Yu also managed to create a superb 3D-effect. I like the cropping and composition too. They are blameless. Bravo. Perfect work.

Ciao Anna, splendid Upupa with fantastic colors, great details and excellent sharpness, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hello Anna

Dit is 'n pragtige foto wat jy van hierdie oulike hoephoep geneem het en jou notas is weereens gevul met leersame en interessante materiaal wat getuig van uiterste smaak en goeie navorsing. Die rug skoot met die gedraaide kop het 'n goed geballanseerde profiel van die pragtige voël tot gevolg gehad en ek hou van die eweredige effek wat die plaveilsel veroorsaak het.


Hello Anna. I have never seen a bird looking like this. I think it is very unique in the plumage and shape around the head. The shot you made is to perfection. The sharpness and detail is flawless. The perch is pleasant on the ground with a few blade of grass making it complete. I like this and definitely will be in my favorite list. Thanks for sharing and appreciate your excellent notes as always. Best regards. Jusni

Good evening, Anna. I must say, he looks like he's had one cup of coffee too many. I love the composition, the colors, the POV, and your notes. They are always a joy to read because they are informative and that's one more point I can add to my IQ if I retain the information.

Seriously, the bird is of an unusual color. I love that you posted it for once more, it is something I've never seen.

Hello Anna,

Ahhh, what a great pose!
Seems like this little fellow is used to being photographed and knows well how to look his best...
Excellent details in the plumage and the natural colours are well reproduced, and I admire the 3-D effect achieved..!

Pablo -

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-07-03 4:55]

Hi Anna,
Outstanding shot of this Hoopoe with such amazing colours and details on its plumage. Nice pose captured and great handling of light and exposure levels. They really are such magnificent birds. Excellent DOF, POV and composition. Kudos.

Hello Anna,

WOW! I'm impressed to see such a bird!!!

You managed to get a nice POV in order to let us see all the great feathers details!!! Definitely, I'm very impressed by the huppe, beak and colors of this slendid animal!!!



Hello Anna.
Yes, once the bug has bitten there's nothing to do but feed it images..Your lung infection will clear, but there's no cure for the "shutterbug" in you :)
Excellent POV/pose showing the birds backside/bestside IMO.
Great dedication to Martin too, he has contributed excellent work here on TN..
Hope you're well by now,

hello Anna excellent shot of this beautiful bird,
i love his feathers in two tones, the upper part
and the lower part, very fine POV, DOF and framing,
excellent sharpness and details, TFS


Nice shot. Very good low pov and sharply focussed. The details are also very good. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Anna,

Your note has a lot of information. The bird is impressive. The point of view is showing with precision the details and colors of the bird's feathers. The subject is nicely. The light brings out the colors. have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2008-07-10 9:26]

This hoopoe is indeed gorgeous, Anna.
I hope you have since recovered completely from your pleurisy.
I agree that the pose is excellent, showing us the colorful markings on the back, as well as a perfect profile of the head.
It is beautifully showcased against the clean BG, with sharp details and good lighting.
As usual, the notes were entertaining and educational.
Thanks for all your efforts. I daresay we at TN ALL appreciate your and Loot's writing.
Take care.

Dear Anna,

Firstly I hope you are feeling a lot better now, and secondly my apologise for missing this wonderful posting, what a stunner I've never seen anything like this before, thankyou for introducing me to a "Hoopoe", excellent detail, wonderful colours, perfect POV, and with those little splashes of green really make this a superb composition, just lovely, all the best,

t.f.s Rick :)

Dear Anna,
how lucky you are to get that close to the hoopoe, and how well you took the chance. An excellent portrait of the species. I loved the pose and those beautifully saturated rich colours so well imbedded into a perfect composition.
Thankj you! With all my best wishes.

Hello Anna, thanks for your kind words which you wrote to Our supervisor Bayram's photo. TAlso this great shot is perfect in all aspects. TFS.
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2008-07-15 11:29]

Hello Anna , A Fantastic picture , super sharp details great pov pose and beauty bird , tfs ,Greetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-07-17 12:22]

Hi Anna

I love the look of these birds, they are just so beautiful. You caught this one in perfect sharpness, great colours and a lovely pose. I hope your health is improved



Hi Anna,

You've provided an exhaustive note, pretty much everything about his interesting bird. And a beautiful image of it too, very nice, what an amazing bird!


Hola Anna.
Aqui en france tenemos el mismo hoopoe for.
La imagen es preciosa.Un saludo antonio.

Dear Anna,
Wonderful shot, great minimalistic composition. I really like the hoopoe's pose, the grassblades on both lower sides, the colors... Excellent, Madame. As the note.
Tfs, have a nice Sunday, László from Hungary

Perfect shot and great notes in all aspects.

Pragtige foto! Ek is ook mal oor hierdie voeltjies en raak skoon opgewonde as ek hulle in die tuin sien!

Superb detail and colors to this lovely exotic bird with great composition.

Hallo Anna,
I do agree with Annick..you are a great writer (couple: Loot & You). The Hoopoe has come out very well with excellent POV, details & sharpness. TFS.

Wow! This bird is meeting also here at us, in Latvia. In Latvian his name is "pupuķis".

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