Belarus post issued a stamp of the Bird of the year – Hoopoe. The public organization “Ahova ptushak Batskaushchyny” (Protection of Homeland Birds) declared the hoopoe as the bird of the year 2013 in Belarus.
The Hoopoe is a colourful bird that is found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for its distinctive ‘crown’ of feathers. It is the only extant species in the family Upupidae.
One insular species, the Giant Hoopoe of Saint Helena, is extinct, and the Madagascar subspecies of the Hoopoe is sometimes elevated to a full species. Like the Latin name upupa, the English name is an onomatopoetic form which imitates the cry of the bird.
The Hoopoe is a medium sized bird, 25–32 cm (9.8–12.6 in) long, with a 44–48 cm (17.3–19 in) wingspan weighing 46–89 g (1.6–3.1 oz). The species is highly distinctive, with a long, thin tapering bill that is black with a fawn base.
The strengthened musculature of the head allows the bill to be opened when probing inside the soil. The hoopoe has broad and rounded wings capable of strong flight; these are larger in the northern migratory subspecies.
The Hoopoe has a characteristic undulating flight, which is like that of a giant butterfly, caused by the wings half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats.
The call is typically a trisyllabic oop-oop-oop, which gives rise to its English and scientific names, although two and four syllables are also common. In the Himalayas, the calls can be confused with that of the Himalayan Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus) although the cuckoo typically produces four notes. Other calls include rasping croaks, when alarmed, and hisses.
There are logos of the International organization for the protection of birds “BirdLife International” and the Belarus public organization “Ahova ptushak Batskaushchyny” (APB) on the stamp.
Title: Bird of the year – Hoopoe
Date of Issue: 12 March 2013