Green Wood-Hoopoe ( Phoeniculus purpureus, family: Phoeniculidae)

 In Roberts 6 this bird was called Red-billed Wood-Hoopoe

green wood hoope kruger national park birds The Green Wood-Hoopoe (Latin name Phoeniculus purpureus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 452 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 162 also a picture of the Green Wood-Hoopoe on page 161. The Green Wood-Hoopoe belongs to the family of birds classified as Phoeniculidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Green Wood-Hoopoe is also known by these other names: Wood-Hoopoe, Senegal Wood-Hoopoe.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Green Wood-Hoopoe was called the Red-billed Wood-Hoopoe

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified.

Red Billed Woodhoopoe Kruger ParkThe Green Wood-Hoopoe is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident. It is a special bird in my opinion with beautifully coloured plumage and flight feathers. It's red bill is a great identifier.

You'll find this bird all over the Park.

The Green Wood-Hoopoe is a bird a little bit bigger than a starling. The height is about 34 cms and its weight is about 83 gms

The male and female Green Wood-Hoopoe have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is blue-green.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is red.
  • Throat is blue-green.
  • Back is purplish-black.
  • Legs are red.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

The Green Wood-Hoopoe feeds on the ground and in foliage or on a tree trunk. It eats ...

  • Invertebrates
  • Fruits
  • Seeds

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Green Wood-Hoopoe is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Phoeniculus purpureus will seek out a new mate. The nest of the Green Wood-Hoopoe is built in a hole in a tree trunk. The bird lays 2 to 4 eggs which are green in colour.


The preferred habitats for Green Wood-Hoopoe are: woodlands and grasslands and riverine areas.

You will normally see the Green Wood-Hoopoe in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Intlekibafazi

Zulu ... iNhlekabafazi/uNukani

Afrikaans ...Rooibekkakelaar

German ... Steppenbaumhopf

Portuguese ... Zombeteiro-de-bico-vermelho

French ... Irrisor moqueur

Dutch ... Groene Kakelaar

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 452

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,