Green Wood Hoopoe visits Areena Riverside Resort

Areena Birders Corner  focus on the Green Wood Hoopoe

Previously known as the ‘Red-billed Wood-hoopoe’ the Green Wood-Hoopoe is one of the birds that underwent a name change when it was decided by the worlds ‘avian authorities’  to eliminate any confusion between similar species found in different parts of the world.

These birds with iridescent blue/green feathers, bright red beaks and feet, white spots on the outer edges the wings and tails are easy to spot.  They usually move around in pairs or family groups (2 to16) and are one of the true ‘characters’ of the birds found in Areena. They are extremely vocal, continually communicating by making a series of loud crackling sounds while bobbing their heads up and down when in close proximity to each other. They are always very ‘busy’ when feeding, climbing up and down tree trunks and branches or foraging in the thickets close to the ground.  They pry larva concealed in the bark of trees with their long beaks and will eat beetles, worms, small frogs, insects, geckos, spiders, insects etc.  They will also eat berries, fruit and occasionally nectar and seeds of the Coastal Strelitzia.   When the group is threatened by snakes or other mammals, they position themselves with rear ends facing the offender and under extreme threat will secrete a foul-smelling brown fluid from their preen glands repelling the intruder.

An unlined cavity, usually an old woodpecker or barbet hole in a tree, a hole in a fencepost or a hollow structure in a building serves as a nest. Breeding is conducted by the senior pair in the group with the feeding of the female and nestlings shared by other group members.  Between two and four eggs are laid and incubation takes three weeks.