Upupa #3

By Ramon Planas


When I carve pipes or tampers I am inspired in something that there is in the nature, birds, mammals, snails…In this case, this series of tampers is about the hoopoes, these colourful  birds found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for their distinctive “crown” of feathers.

The English name is an onomatopoeic form which imitate the cry of the bird..

Hoopoes have well developed anti-predator defenses in the nest. The uropygial gland of the incubating and brooding female is quickly modified to produce a foul smelling liquid, and the glands of nestlings do so as well.

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The diet of the hoopoe includes many species considered by humans to be pests, such as the pupae of the procesonary  moth, a damaging forest pest.

Hoopoes have made a cultural impact . They were considered sacred in Ancient Egipt. In the Torah, hoopoes were listed among the animals that are detestable and should not be eaten. 

Hoopoes also appear in the Koran, were seen as a symbol in Persia, were thought of as thieves across much of  Europe, and harbingers of war in Scandinavian. In Stonian tradition, hoopoes are strongly connected with death and the underworld. The hoopoe is the king of birds in the Ancient Greek comedy. In 2008 was named National Bird in the state of Israel.

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