Green Wood-hoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus)

The Green Wood-hoopoe is a medium sized, 14.5" (37cm) bird. Wood-hoopoes look completely black when in shadow, but with sunlight on them, they show an iridescent gloss of violet on the wings and tail, with metalic blue and green on the head and back. Along the outer edge and beneath the tail, there are white spots. White bars on their folded wings, red feet and curved red bill complete a colourful identification.

Green Wood-hoopoes are gregarious birds, often forming family groups of five to eight noisy and attention-grabbing members. Two of the group are the breeding pair, while the others are either siblings or offspring, who assist in feeding the breeding female and her offspring. In flight, they are boyant, but clumsy, as they fly from tree to tree, staying in contact with the group with a chuckling call.

Extremely agile, Green Wood-hoopoes are arboreal birds, using their curved bills to prod for insects under the bark, often upside-down. They will also feed on the ground, when termites are hatching.

Green Wood-hoopoes belong to a unique African family, commonly found in Acacia woodlands, usually below 2,500 metres. Found in the western half of Kenya, from Turkana to the coast.

Extra Green Wood-hoopoe Facts
Green Wood-hoopoes are parasited by the Lesser and Greater Honeyguides, who lay their eggs to match the colours of the Wood-hoopoe's blue eggs.

Photographed at Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, green wood-hoopoe, hoopoe, kenya, wildlife, wood-hoopoe

Green Wood-hoopoe ~ Colours

A Green Wood-hoopoe, in good sunlight, showing all its many colours.

Green Wood-hoopoe ~ Searching

Green wood-hoopoe, searching for food in the bark of a tree.

Green Wood-hoopoe ~ Eating Caterpillar

Green Wood-hoopoe, eating a caterpilar in a tree, in Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.