of these articles treats a kind of bird. For the bird kind Upupa see Wiedehopfe.
Wiedehopf (Upupa epops)
Class: Birds (Aves)
order: Hopfartige (Upupiformes)
family: Wiedehopfe (Upupidae)
kind: Wiedehopfe (Upupa)
kind: Wiedehopf
scientific name
Upupa epops
Linnaeus, 1758

the Wiedehopf (Upupa epops) is the only kind or after other view one of several kinds from the bird family of the Wiedehopfe (Upupidae).
The Wiedehopfe is placed together with the somewhat species-richer family of the Baumhopfe (Phoeniculidae) into the order of the Hopfartigen (Upupiformes). The allocation to the rack birds (Coraciiformes) is not any longer scientific standard.

The kind, from which about 7 subspecies are differentiated, is in Europe, Asia and Africa far, in many regions however only more very incompletely common. The African forms become multiple as independent kinds (Upupa africana, And. senegalensis, And. marginata) understood. Northward the kind reaches nearly 60° N, in the east the Pacific coast and in the south the cape provinces, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and the Sunda islands.

Table of contents


the throttle-large, but importantly more largely working bird is unmistakably and generally well-known, although probably only very few humans could observe it in free nature. The high-contrast black-and-white gebänderten wings with clear yellow inclusions, which is enough, are characteristic curved bill and those about five to six centimeters long put upable feather/spring hood, whose ends run out in a white-black conclusion. The tail is black with a broad white binds for instance in the last tail third and a white design on the tail root. The remaining body is rust brownish-red. Characteristically is also the wavy, butterfly-like gaukelnde flight, with which spread, wing fumbled deeply after each impact nearly to be put on. On several long, pulled through wing impacts some short, fluttering take place, so that the flight appears unstable and uneven. The sexes are each other very similar; the females are somewhat smaller and more matt colored a trace. During the food search the constant head nodding is very remarkable.


also the singing of the male spoken by singing control rooms is unmistakable. It consists of mostly three (2 to 5) dull/musty, tubingflute-similar elements on ‚u' (also ‚UP' or ‚pu'), which carry quite far. This call led to the scientific generic name. (Onomatopoesie) the intervals between the Strophen are only rarely longer than five seconds. Both sexes call on disturbance rau ‚RA ah', (reminds strongly of the warning call of the Eichelhähers). The fodder begging of the Nestlinge is a mauerseglerähnliches ‚ssiiii'. During excitation is to be heard occasionally bill-scarce.

being correct example

being correct example. District singing (MP3)

occurrences and habitat

the three African kinds, respectable. Subspecies are not considered yellow
: Breeding occurrence
blue: Wintering areas
green rings: Frequently yearly birds
the Nominatform (And. e. epops) breeds eastward of the Kanari islands over entire Europe with exception of the British islands, the Netherlands and Scandinavia to east the whether, where slowly the transition takes place to the subspecies saturata. Most Mediterranean islands were likewise settled by the kind.

In the south far parts of the Maghreb, some oases of the seeing era as well as the Nile valley are settled. In Asia the southern circulation area of the Nominatform includes entire the Near East, large parts Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

The habitats of the Wiedehopfes are very variously, always are it warm-exposed, however, dry, not to closely tree-covered areas with only short or at all meager vegetation. In Central Europe the kind occurs particularly in extensively used fruit and wine cultures, in areas with pasture animal husbandry as well as on Ruderalflächen . Generally the Wiedehopf is rather an inhabitant of deeper situations, but gives it to breeding proof of the Nominatform from heights over 3,000 meters (Altai - mountains); also in Central Europe the Wiedehopf ascends at least into the montane stage, the high-altitude breeding proof from Austria lay at a value of 1,260 meters.

Closed forest areas, rain forest areas as well as deserts are not settled in the entire circulation area of the kind.

food and food acquisition

the food of the Wiedehopfes are exclusively animalisch. Larger kinds of insect, like field crickets , are preferred mole crickets, Engerlinge, as well as different kinds of crawler-type vehicle and beetles. Spiders , woodlice , Tausendfüsser or earthworms are taken up more rarely. As Beikost, but nevertheless regularly, also frogs and small lizards are erjagt. Also bird eggs and young birds belong to the rare Beikost.

The Wiederhopf captures its food animals at the soil, only exeptionally catches it slowly flying insects also in the flight. The booty animals are probably also acoustically located mostly optically, often in addition, tactile, as well as. On the surface current booty animals are pursued, ertastet in the soil hidden by Stochern. The Stocherlöcher (in particular with the catch of mole crickets) is extended often thereby which the Wiedehopf runs around also in the soil put bill several times in the circle. Often the legs as well as hard Chitinteile of the booty animals before the consumption are removed. It strikes or works on larger insects frequently against a stone it at the soil; for swallowing it throws it often somewhat into air.

breeding biology

Balz and generation of pairs

of the Wiedehopf leads a monogame Brutsaisonehe. Its Balz is characterized by loud call rows, which gesträubten with set up feather/spring hood and Kehlgefieder in good covering are mostly spoken. If a female reacts, it tries to impress it with fodder deliveries, after which often long pursuit flights follow. Frequently it offers Bruthöhlen with loud Krächzen. If the female slips into such a cave, the generation of pairs is often final. The Kopulationen mostly take place on the soil.

nest location, clutches of eggs and brood

the nest locations are extremely different and cover whole or half caves of any kind. Natural tree caves are likewise used like woodpecker caves, half caves in Bruchsteinmauern or wood impacts, concavities under roots or other earth caves. With breeding trees the kind shows a preference of hochstämmigen old fruit trees, in particular from apple trees. Also NIST boxes are accepted. The nest condition height mostly lies in a range between 0 and 5 meters.
It mostly comes only to a yearly brood, more southern populations seems (perhaps even regularly) to a secondary brood to walk more frequently. The large clutch of eggs (6-10 eggs) is bebrütet exclusively by the female, who begins to breed mostly after the first egg, so that the breeding duration can last altogether to the 24 days and boy in very different development stages in a brood are united. Also the Nestlingszeit can last up to 30 days. During the entire breeding time, as well as during at least the first ten days of the Nestlingszeit the female and also the brood are supplied later exclusively by the male. Only after the boys do not have to be gehudert any longer, also the female takes part in the fodder search. After leaving the Bruthöhle the individual boys are fed still about five days by parents and abandoned afterwards the parents district.

the Wiedehopfe developed enemy behavior in the enemy behavior and their boy some special behaviors. When sudden emerging of a grab bird, which does not make a safe escape into a hiding place for no more possible, Wiedehopfe take a camouflage position, which supports, as body-outline-solvent the so high-contrast colored plumage can be. The bird with broadly spread wings and tail puts on the soil, neck, head and bill is flat steeply upward arranged. It is mostly surveyed in this rainless protection attitude. From the interpretation as camouflage position recently some researchers in this body position see an expression of the comfort behavior completely deviating when sun bathing.
Threatens itself feeling Nestlinge hiss queue-similarly (mimicry), somewhat older Nestlinge squirt than defence reaction its excrement from the cave. Seems particularly effective to be however separating of a very evil-smelling secretion from the Bürzeldrüse. To this Bürzeldrüsensekret and not of the excrement of the Nestlinge partially put down in the Bruthöhle also the Gestank is due , which can proceed from Wiedehopfbrutstätten. Therefore also the German phrase: It stinks like a Wiedehopf.


the Nominatform is nearly in its entire circulation area migratory bird, whose main wintering areas are appropriate for the seeing era in the Savannengürtel south as well as in south India and Sri Lanka. In East Africa the kind winters also in increments far over 1,500 meters. Small above all southwestEuropean populations (south Spain, Balearen as well as Sicily) winter in the breeding area. Partially successful wintering are occasionally determined in Südengland regularly, in South Sweden as well as in Central Europe. In Central Europe the departure already begins at the end of of July with a way course summit in the middle of August. The first Heimzieher achieves its European breeding places in the middle of March, in the last April third is mostly occupied the European breeding places.
The females exhibit a importantly more minted breeding blow-out regret than the males.

existence and inventory development

in Europe was the Wiedehopf into the 50's 20. Century a breeding bird frequent in some areas. Different factors (more strongly Atlantic affected climate, biotope destruction and increasing Pestizideintrag) released expressiven Areal-und inventory decrease. Many in former times regularly occupied breeding areas in Great Britain, south Scandinavia, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as in entire Central Europe were given up. In the last years a particularly clear inventory decrease in east Greece and Turkey can be recognized.
At present some small populations in Südengland and South Sweden seem to recover again something. In some areas of Central Europe the kind might profit from the intensified horse attitude.
In total Europe the existence, which is considered altogether as secured, becomes estimated on nearly one million breeding's pairs. In the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg the kind applies as become extinct, in Germany, for Switzerland, in Tschechien as well as in Austria appears the Wiedehopf in the red lists, mostly in the all-highest endangerment stages.

The closest existence of this kind in Central Europe are registered today in so-called secondary habitats, in particular on troop exercise areas, and/or formerly militarily genutzem area. In Germany intensive preventive measures run for example on the former troop exercise areas Jüterbog and love rose


the Wiedehopf became bird of the yearly 1976.


  • Hans Günther farmer/Peter Berthold: The breeding birds of Central Europe. Existence and endangerment. 2. examined edition; AULA - Wiesbaden 1997. S. 279 f. ISBN 3-89104-613-8
  • Urs N. Glutz of Blotzheim (Hrsg.): Manual of the birds of Central Europe. Worked on and. A. of briefly M. Farmer and Urs N. Glutz of Blotzheim. Aula publishing house, Wiesbaden. Volume 9. Columbiformes - Piciformes. 2. , examined edition 1994 ISBN 3-89104-562-X S. 852-876.
  • Susanne Oehlschläger and Torsten Ryslavy: Breeding biology of the Wiedehopfes Upupa epops on the former troop exercise areas with Jüterbog, Brandenburg. In: Bird world 123 (2002); Pages 171-188; AULA - Wiebelsheim 2002.

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