Green Woodhoopoe

Green Wood-Hoopoe        Phoeniculus purpureus

Type of Animal:

Savanna, woodland, forest, suburban gardens, palm groves, acacia thornveld, forest edge, thickets, valley bushveld

Most of sub-Saharan Africa except true desert

Metallic dark-green w/ purple back & long, purple tail. Adults have thin curvy red bill. Young have black bill. Male has longer bill than female.

Caterpillars, spiders, spider eggs, beetles, moths, termites, centipedes, millipedes, small lizards, fruit, grubs, insect larvae, ants

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & aviculture

Small family flocks of monogamous pair w/ 3-4 broods of offspring. Older chicks help rear younger siblings.

Additional Info:


Male-3.68-4.16 oz
Female-2.88 oz

18 days

1.1 ft

Body Length:
1.1 ft

Life Span:
Up to 8 years

Tail Length:
1.3 ft

Main predators are genets, hawks, owls, snakes, chimps, felids, canids, pigs, & crocodiles. Driver ants & monkeys prey on nestlings.

Considered one of the noisiest birds in Africa.

Fights between neighboring families more often involve calls/displays rather than physical contact.

Female generally lays 2-4 eggs per clutch.

Also called a “Red-Billed Wood-Hoopoe.”

Their nests are often parasitized by Honeyguides.

Wood-hoopoes also face competition for nest sites w/ honeybees, hornbills, & other wood-hoopoes.

Often nest in tree hollows.

They’re closely related to bee-eaters, rollers, hornbills, & kingfishers.

Feed on ground, termite mounds, or on tree trunks.

Fun Fact(s):
They’re somewhat popular in the bird trade & tend to be very inquisitive.

Incubating females often let off bad smell in order to ward off predators. This often makes the whole nest stinky.

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