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Green Wood-Hoopoe | Phoeniculus purpureus

The Green 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 Green Wood-Hoopoe (Latin name Phoeniculus purpureus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Phoeniculus purpureus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 452 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 162. You will find a picture of the Green 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.

This bird is known as Red-billed Wood-Hoopoe in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Green Wood-Hoopoe between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Green Wood-Hoopoe is known in Afrikaans as Rooibekkakelaar .

The Green Wood-Hoopoe has a height of 34 cms and weighs around 83 gms. The head is coloured blue-green while the bill is coloured red. The Phoeniculus purpureus has a blue-green coloured throat, red legs and a purplish-black 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 blue-green

Eyes are brown

Bill is red

Legs are red

Throat is blue-green

Back is purplish-black

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

and feeds on the tree trunk

The Green Wood-Hoopoe is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

The Phoeniculus purpureus forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Green 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 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured green.

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 bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large 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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