Significance to humans

This striking and unmistakable bird has a long pedigree in human culture. It was used as a hieroglyphic and revered in ancient Egypt. The hoopoe figures prominently in Aristophanes' play The Birds, features widely in folklore, and has long been celebrated in literature. Its scientific name and vernacular names in several languages, are onomatopoeic.

The hoopoe's diet includes insect pests of agriculture and forestry, and its usefulness in controlling such pests has been recognized in many areas. The hoopoe is consequently very widely protected by national laws.

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