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Green Wood Hoopoe - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Phoeniculus purpureus)
Subspecies purpureus
Photo by max1
Satara, Kruger N.P., South Africa, September 2018
Phoeniculus purpureus


32·5–40 cm (12¾-15¾ in)

  • Glossy-green plumage
  • Bluish head and throat
  • Violet nape

Despite its name this bird frequently appears to be far more blue than green.


Africa from Senegambia in the West, to Ethiopia and north-western Somalia in the East and then South to northern and eastern Botswana and central and eastern South Africa.



Subspecies angolensis
Photo by Rafiki
Savuti, Botswana, July, 2017

Phoeniculus purpureus has six subpecies[1]:

  • P. p. guineensis
  • P. p. senegalensis
  • P. p. niloticus
  • P. p. marwitzi
  • P. p. angolensis
  • P. p. purpureus


A wide variety of habitats, including savanna and woodland.



It is an agile, arboreal bird which clings to branches, often hanging upside down while it probes crevices in the bark looking for the arthropods which make up most of its diet. The birds are communal, traveling in noisy groups and protecting their territory.


They breed co-operatively.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2014)

Recommended Citation

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