The Eurasian Hoopoe, for which the Spanish name is Abubilla, is a very distinctive bird, with a spectacular erectile crest and long, slender bill that is slightly curved. Being 25-32cm it’s of medium size, with wings that span 44-48cm. Their flight is undulating, rather like a very large butterfly!
But it’s not only its good looks that make him distinctive; his characteristic call can be heard loud and clear; oop-oop-oop. When alarmed their call can change to a rasping croak, or even hisses.
They’re quite a confident bird and can often be found in gardens and around human habitation. Fuerteventura is ideal for Hoopoes, as they like to forage for insects on the bare ground or among light vegetation. They can nest in holes within vertical surfaces, such as trees, cliffs, walls, nest boxes and even abandoned burrows. You can sometimes catch them sunbathing, sitting on the ground with their wings spread out and their head tilted up.
They are territorial, and will fiercely chase off or fight rival males. Whilst they are monogamous, their bonding only lasts for a single season.