The Hoopoe is one of the stranger looking birds of Europe. They are quite common and, even in winter, we found several along the road-sides in the Alentejo of Southern Portugal. They exist pretty much everywhere where they can find short grasses or bare earth for hunting, and cavities for nesting. There has been a lot of debate over the years as to where the Hoopoe should be classified. It was once considered a member of the kingfisher, bee-eater, roller clan, (it is still grouped with these birds in the Collin’s Guide) but more recently a consensus has developed that it is more closely related to the hornbills and it has been moved in with them. The Hoopoe was once considered a single species, but it has now been broken into 4 species, one of which is extinct. The migrant Eurasian Hoopoe is common across, as you might suspect, Europe and Asia, though declining at the northern edge of its breeding range, and there are two resident African species, one on the mainland and one on Madagascar. Like the Bee-eater and the Roller, they always impress me as being just slightly too exotic for Europe. But that might say more about me than about the Hoopoe. Sony RX10iv at 600mm and Program Mode. Processed in Photoshop Express and assembled in FrameMagic.