Egypt/Sinai: Eurasian Hoopoe

Waking up early before 5am, you could spot dozens and dozens of the the European hoopoes, amazingly colorful and funny-looking birds. Eurasian hoopoe (or Upupa epops in Latin) is one of the three hoopoe species found in the world – the other two are African hoopoe (we saw many in Zimbabwe) and Madagascar hoopoe. The Eurasian one is found in mostly Eastern Europe in sunset and central to North Africa in winter, while the population found in Middle East and Sinai in particular doesn’t even migrate. The hoopoe is named after its call – “oop oop”, Eurasian hoopoe is, interestingly, the national bird of Israel, having one that honor in a national poll in 2008.