Violet Wood-Hoopoe | Phoeniculus damarensis
The Violet Wood-Hoopoe is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Phoeniculidae bird family group which includes birds such as Wood-hoopoes.
The description for the Violet Wood-Hoopoe (Latin name Phoeniculus damarensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Phoeniculus damarensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 453 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 164. You will find a picture of the Violet Wood-Hoopoe on page 161.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Violet Wood-Hoopoe between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Violet Wood-Hoopoe has a height of 38 cms and weighs around 94 gms. The head is coloured purple while the bill is coloured red. The Phoeniculus damarensis has a purple coloured throat, red legs and a purple coloured back. The eyes are brown.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is purple
Eyes are brown
Bill is red
Legs are red
Throat is purple
Back is purple
Feeding Habits ...
This bird forages for food on the tree trunk
The Violet Wood-Hoopoe is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage
This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Violet Wood-Hoopoe strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Violet Wood-Hoopoe is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 4 eggs and they are coloured blue.
The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.
The Violet Wood-Hoopoe is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.
The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
It is also seen in flocks
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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