Weekend visitor: Dehydrated Hoopoe rescued from Vikhroli.
A dehydrated Eurasian Hoopoe was rescued from Godrej Hillside colony in Vikhroli (West) on Saturday.
The bird was found hiding under a white car when an alert citizen managed to identify it and reported to our helpline.
Our rescue team member Prathamesh Panchal reached the spot and after a few attempts, safely managed to rescue the bird.
After initial observation, we found the bird to be dehydrated with no signs of any external injuries. The bird is currently under our foster care and will be immediately released into its natural habitat post examination.
The Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) is one of the most widespread bird species native to Europe, Asia and the certain parts of Africa.
Yes, they are also found in Mumbai but very rarely spotted.
One can easily identify this bright coloured bird because of its characteristic black and white (zebra-like) stripes on its wings, and its beautiful crest resembling a crown of feathers Hence, colloquially, people also call it a 'zebra bird'. Hoopoes use their long, slender, curved bills to feed on insects, worms, lizards, etc in the ground. Interestingly, they also probe for insects while flying and hence we can observe that their flight sometimes resembles the flight of a large butterfly.
While Hoopoe is the national bird of Israel, its characteristic crest is also sometimes referred to as 'Chandra Mukuta' in the Kannada literature.
Fun fact: Hoopoes use a very interesting technique to protect their nests from the predators. The female hoopoe releases a foul-smelling secretion to keep the predators away. They also keep their nests dirty with a lot of excreta, thus keeping the other larger birds away from their eggs.
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