Hoopoe - Upupa epops


    The Hoopoe is an exotic looking bird that is the size of a Mistle Thrush. It has a pinkish-brown body, striking black and white wings, a long black downcurved bill, and a long pinkish-brown crest which it raises when excited. 

    Identification difficulty

    It does not breed in the UK, but as many as 100 birds can turn up in spring (mostly seen as single birds) as birds migrating north to Europe from Africa overshoot and land on the south coast of England. For this reason the south coast is the most likely place to see this species with encounters inland and further north being less frequent.

    When to see it

    Most birds turn up in late April and May but can be encountered into autumn.

    Life History

    Feeds on insects and spiders.

    UK Status

    Vagrant to UK. Summer migrant to mainland Europe.

    VC55 Status

    Rare visitor to Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    Map key:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)

    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records

    • RED = 2020+
    • DARK BLUE = 2015-2019
    • LIGHT BLUE = pre 2015


    UK Map