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Green Wood-hoopoe

Green Wood-hoopoe
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: 2009-10-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Date Submitted: 2013-07-16 9:42
Viewed: 3710
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Green Wood-hoopoe / Phoeniculus purpureus

Today I share number 62 in the series of birds of the Kruger National Park, the Green Wood-hoopoe.

These birds are not only vocally quite loud, they are extremely difficult to capture too. They are constantly on the move and do not sit still for longer than a second or two. Therefore this image I share today is a second worth of pure luck.

This image was taken from my archives from 2009. I thought there would be more of this species on the gallery but to my surprise I could not find any.

Phoeniculus purpureus is a large, up to 44cm long, near-passerine tropical bird native to Africa. It is a member of the family Phoeniculidae, the wood hoopoes, and was formerly known as the Red-billed Wood Hoopoe.

It is a common resident breeder in the forests, woodlands and suburban gardens of most of sub-Saharan Africa. They are found in groups of up to a dozen or so birds with only one breeding pair. The breeding female lays two to four blue eggs in a natural tree hole or old Barbet nest and incubates for about 18 days. Upon hatching, she and the nestlings are fed by the rest of the group, even after they have fledged and left the nest hole. The group are fearless in defence of the nestlings against intruders. This species is parasitised by the Greater and Lesser Honeyguide.

This abundant species is a metallic dark green, with a purple back and very long diamond-shaped purple tail. Distinctive white markings on the wings and white chevrons on the tail edges make it easily identifiable, as does its long thin curved red bill. Sexes are similar, but immature have a black bill.

The Green Wood Hoopoe is an insect-eating species. It feeds mainly on the ground, termite mounds, or on tree trunks, and will form flocks outside the breeding season. Its specialised claws enable it to easily cling to the underside of branches while closely inspecting the bark for insects.

This conspicuous bird also advertises its presence with its loud Kuk-uk-uk-uk-uk call and other vocalisations.

Widespread and common throughout its large range, it is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Names of this avian species in other languages
Afrikaans - Rooibekkakelaar
German - Steppenbaumhopf
French - Irrisor moqueur
Dutch - Groene kakelaar
Portuguese - Zombeteiro-de-bico-vermelho Source

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

Hotelcalifornia, maaciejka, vijeeshbabu, anel, CeltickRanger, pierrefonds, KOMSIS, rousettus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Ishi: WorkshopMiss_Piggy 2 07-17 23:18
To senn: Green featherMiss_Piggy 1 07-17 03:38
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2013-07-16 10:45]

Hello Anna,
Yes, I've seen them in your country too. But very difficult to take a good of them. The colours are so bright and, as you said, they never sit still. Always on the move and in the shadow the colours are totally black.
So this photo is better than I could reach. Nice pose, good sharpness and a pleasing composition.

Hello Anna,
Attracting bird from KNP.Although it's a tough task to capture it,you have done this quite well.Nice colour.
Thanks for sharing,
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-07-16 14:28]

Hi Anna,this park is a mine for the bird photographers,and this is another magnificent example,a beautiful specie taken whit the usual top class despite the difficult light,bright colors,perfect details and very nice composition too,another pearl in your fabulous gallery,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Hi Anna,
beautiful bird. Excellent composition. Perfect point of view. Amazing colours.
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Anna,
照的很清晰 很漂亮的鳥 顏色真是特殊 很美麗
構圖漂亮 謝謝分享

  • Great 
  • senn Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 2 N: 155] (1384)
  • [2013-07-17 3:21]
  • [+]

sure there are some "green" feather around the neck but, on my screen, the dark blue seems to be dominant colour of its feather .. TFS this rare species apparently pretty hard to capture, and captured in an excellent pose and natural habitat

regards, nuri :)

  • Great 
  • Ishi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 298 W: 21 N: 1943] (13387)
  • [2013-07-17 7:28]
  • [+]

Lovely bird, Anna! Actually not a real hoopoe (Upupa epops), which was voted our national bird a couple of years ago... Much more colorful!

I tried to bring out better the colors of the bird in your picture using the Shadows/Highlights option of Photoshop. Was not able to access the WS of your picture.

All the best,


  • Great 
  • hsn6a Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 0 N: 435] (8652)
  • [2013-07-17 8:09]

Hello Anna,
a very nice bird,nice capture,thanks and regards..

Hi Anna,
Amazing bird nice composition with beautiful colours and nice light
Thanks for sharing.

What an amazing unique specimen to get a photo of, I see nothing this fantastic in my corner of the world, great colors and features.

  • Great 
  • aruntp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 590 W: 1 N: 357] (5379)
  • [2013-07-19 23:02]

really a lovely bird with numerous colors. nice emotion you picked up. good work. i am seeing this beauty for first time. thanks.

Hello Anna,
Wooohhh..What a beautiful bird. Never seen this kind of species.Excellent color and great details.
Nice composition and POV.
Thanks for sharing.


amazing bird, almost unreal, TFS Ori

dear Anna,
resolution and sharpness are good.
composition is attractive.

best regards,
Mehran Jahangiri.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2013-07-21 5:07]

hello Anna,
I just see that I missed this amazing bird. It must be something to see this species in the wild. And you were lucky to catch it once it was perched on the tree. What a long tail it has. It must be marvellous to see it fly. Again a natural and most interesting posting.

Hello Anna

In the same time close-up photo but also
environmental photo because of the woods
and branches we see in the image, and the
name of the bird it represent very well the
photo by being « Green Wood-hoopoe », it has
a very beautiful metallic color tones plumage, TFS


Ciao Anna. Goode colours results despite the difficult light. Details and sharp very good.


Hi Anne,

The tree is framing well the bird. The point of view is showing the details and colours of the Green Wood-hoopoe. It is clear and sharp. The good luminosity is making the colours to stand out. Have a nice day.


Another amazing African bird Anna! Beautiful photo. Very good composition, nice colours and good sharpness.

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2013-07-23 8:10]

Hallo Anna,
A lovely capture of this beautiful Green Wood-hoopoe ..
Nice colours good composition and sharpness details.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • IronM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 3 N: 345] (2608)
  • [2013-07-23 8:49]

Hi Anna,
beautiful photo of this interesting bird,
well composed, lovely details and colors, great lighting too !
Thanks ! Best regards !

  • Great 
  • john1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 0 N: 439] (3410)
  • [2013-07-23 13:22]

Hi Anna,

Very nice composition with the death tree and the Green wood, I like very much the color blue.
Excellent détails and texture of the plumage, the pov is excellent.
Great job, tfs.
John Vantighem

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-07-26 20:30]

Hello Anna,
Awesome image of a bird that doesn't sit still for very long. You were very fortunate to have captured it in such an attractive pose which shows off it's attractive plumage. At first glance I thought it was a type of hummingbird, but I see from your photo and notes that it is quite a bit larger.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-07-29 3:35]

Hello Anna
such a pretty bird. Never seen this one yet. The blue colors is really exciting to look and the contrast of brown tree trunk makes it look so awesome.
Excellent clarity and splendid view.


Hallo Anna
Green Wood-hoopoe is very beautiful bird. Up to now I have seen hundreds of bird species including Upupo epops, but not any wood-hoopoes. I know them from only books and internet. I will in Kenya at the end of August. I hope I can see them in there.
You are lucky not only seeing it, but also capturing with a nice shot. Focus, eye contact and natural colors very nice.
Thanks for sharing this beauty. Warm regards

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