The hoopoe ranges throughout Africa except in deserts and forested regions, in the drier west of Madagascar, and through Asia and Europe from the Iberian Peninsula north to the Gulf of Finland, the Sakmara River, the southern Lake Baikal region, and the middle Amur and Khungari Rivers. In Asia the species occurs throughout Sri Lanka, Indochina, and Taiwan, east to Japan, and south to the Malay Peninsula. It is a rare straggler south to northern Sumatra, Borneo, and the Philippines. The distribution of the nine subspecies is as follows: U. e. epops: northwestern Africa, Canary Islands, and Europe east to south central Russia, northwestern China, and northwestern India; U. e. major: Egypt, northern Sudan, and eastern Chad; U. e. senegalensis: southern Algeria and Senegal east to Ethiopia and Somalia; U. e. waibeli: Cameroon and northern DRC east to Uganda and northern Kenya; U. e. africana: central DRC east to central Kenya and south to Cape;

U. e. marginata: Madagascar; U. e. saturata: south central Russia east to Japan and south to central China and Tibet; U. e. ceylonensis: Pakistan and northern India south to Sri Lanka; U. e. longirostris: Assam and Bangladesh east to southern China, south to northern Malay Peninsula and Indochina.

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