In the decades since Webster first noted the joy of the Hoopoe's crest, the genealogy of birds would seem to have changed. Of course, lumping and splitting is a favourite pastime of some birders but in this era the genera Upupa has just one species - Epops.

Almost as pleasurable as the Hoopoe's crest is its colour scheme. The bird has a pinky-brown body with black and white striped wings. The crest is of black feathers with white tips. Overall, the bird is of a similar size to a city (feral) pigeon but has a much longer, down curved bill.

The Hoopoe can be found in the northern sub-tropical band of the Old World - i.e. both sides of the Mediterranean and across the Middle East and the Indian sub-contintent.