Meet the Hoopoe scientific name Upupa epops (oopoopa eepops) in the family Upupidae. Not only does this bird have possible the best common name ever its scientific name is equally wonderful. The name Upupa is an onomatopoeia for the call the bird makes.
The origin of the birds dates back to fossils from the Quarternary with their relatives, the woodhoopoes, dating back to the Miocene. There are currently 9 subspecies of the Hoopoe with ranges across Europe, Asia, and Africa. They need habitat with open ground on which to forage and places with tall cliffs in which to nest.
In relation to humans the Hoopoe is mentioned in the Torah as not being Kosher and thus should not be eaten. It is mentioned in the Quran when it is absent from a meeting with Solomon. It is connected with death in Estonian culture. It is also the state bird of Israel and of the Punjab province in India. The Hoopoe eats many pests to humans such as a destructive moth.
The Hoopoe is known for its calls of which there are many. It has a characteristic love song as well as calls for scolding others of its species and for simply talking to one another. The common name derives from the breeding call.
The Hoopoe is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN as it is not hunted and can live in a fairly wide range of habitats and lives well with humans all over its range.