Hoopoe Bird is an unmistakable bird, rather like a butterfly in flight when it shows its startling pattern of large white spots and bands of white on black wings. The tail is black with a broad white band. The head, neck and breast are pinky-buff, the belly white. The bill is rather long, slender and slightly decurved. It has long pinky-buff feathers on the crest, which are broadly tipped with black, which usually lie flat to the head, but are briefly raised on alighting.
Hoopoe Bird is a scarce visitor to Britain, typically as a spring overshoot to southern counties from continental Europe. Hoopoe Bird is found in flat, undulating or gently hilly open country with scattered trees and bushes, farmland, orchards, vineyards, meadows, clearings and forest edge, as well as on treeless plains where gullies and banks can provide nesting cavities. It spends much of its time feeding on the ground, requiring a short sward of vegetation and open bare ground, and is usually found in rather dry areas. Nest sites are usually in a tree, old building, stone wall or nest box.
The eponymous call of this lovely bird is the song of the Hoopoe Bird (male), a trisyllabic hollow-sounding "wohp-wohp-wohp", "oop-oop-oop" or "woud' woud'woud!", somewhat like blowing across the top of a bottle. Repeated frequently and persistently, Hoopoe Bird sounds weak when close by, but carries for quite a distance. It is rarely heard outside the breeding season. Other calls are rather harsh and uncomplicated, with a scolding "hwkhhhrrr" given in alarm, and a less anxious-sounding and lower-pitched "khwrrrr", given in various contexts such as when attending the young or in conversation with a mate. Young in the nest make a high-pitched "ssi, ssi, ssi, sssi".