The debate whether the African Hoopoe is a separate species (Upupa africana) or merely a subspecies of its European relative (Upupa epops) is still ongoing. Actually, this scientific discussion encompasses between five and ten described (sub-)species with more or less separated geographic occurrences. We don’t really want to go into detail here, but all of these birds can be differentiated by the colouring and pattern of their plumage. The African Hoopoe occurs in a vast area from Ethiopia and Kenya in the north up to South Africa in the south. Throughout its range, the birds favour open or bushy areas with limited rainfall. Their diet consists predominantly of insects, which are caught on or even in the ground with the help of their long bill. Hoopoes breed in monogamous pairs which, however, seem to last only for one season. I have seen this pretty bird only once, during a visit to the Etosha National Park in northern Namibia (February 2007).