The food is mainly insects, particularly larvae and pupae. Prey includes beetles, bugs, grasshoppers, butterflies, drag-onflies, ants, termites, and flies. Spiders, earthworms, woodlice, and centipedes are also taken, while lizards, frogs, and small snakes have been recorded.
Hoopoes forage mainly in short grass and on bare soil. They walk about, constantly making short probes into the ground and sometimes pausing to insert the bill fully, opening and closing it to test or seize objects encountered. Hoopoes sometimes dig small holes with the bill to extract prey. They make short runs to catch prey, hawk flying insects, and search below refuse and dry dung, which are turned over with the bill.
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