Sunday, 22 December 2013

#489 In the field: Africa . . . Hoopoe

Please start this series of posts with #477

While in Tanzania, I saw the Hoopoe bird only once,  but I knew immediately that I wanted
to include it in my African portfolio of sculpture.  I saw the bird in Tarangire and was
struck by it's brilliant orange, black, and white color and by the distinctive crown of feathers.  

Below, is a photo of the Hoopoe without it's head feathers spread and displayed.
Although I saw the bird open up and show the feathers . . .
I was so impressed by the beauty that I simply experienced the event without taking a picture!

 The Hoopoe - pronounced hoo-poo - is classified in the group with kingfishers, rollers,
and bee-eaters and there are nine recognized subspecies of the bird.

Below, is a drawing of the Hoopoe with it's crown of head feathers spread.

The colorful Hoopoe is a medium sized bird - 10 to 12 inches - with a 17 to 19 inch wingspan. 
 It has a distinctive long, thin tapering bill and unique head feathers.  
The Hoopoe is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa.  
Interestingly, the Hoopoe is the national bird of Israel. 

Below, is another drawing from my African sketchbook.

Our guide in Tarangire informed me that the Swahili word for Hoopoe is hud-hud.
Below, is a quick clay sketch of the hud-hud in progress.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish Smith

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