The Common Hoopoe is a colorful bird that is found across Afro-Eurasia. It is notable for its distinctive crown of feathers.
The Common Hoopoe is a medium sized bird, 35 cm long, with a 50 cm wingspan weighing 90 gm. The species is highly distinctive, with a long, thin tapering bill that is black with a fawn base. The strengthened musculature of the head allows the bill to be opened when probing inside the soil. The hoopoe has broad and rounded wings capable of strong flight; these are larger in the northern migratory subspecies. The Hoopoe has a characteristic undulating flight, which is like that of a giant butterfly, caused by the wings half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats.
In the Himalayas, the calls can be confused with that of the Himalayan Cuckoo, although the cuckoo typically produces four notes.