Head, neck, and breast, purplish red; wings black, barred with white.
U. Epops, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. i. p. 415. Id. torn. in. p. 291. Hoopoe, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 393. pl. 40. f. 2. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. p. 144.
Entire length twelve inches: length of the bill two inches six lines: breadth, wings extended, nineteen inches.
Crest composed of a double row of elongated feathers, orange-red tipped with black; a small white patch intervening between these two colours: head, neck, and breast, purplish red: upper part of the back pale grayish brown; middle and lower regions barred with black and white: wings black, with five transverse bars of yellowish white: tail black, with one broad, white, crescent-shaped bar: abdomen white; flanks with a few longitudinal brown streaks: bill flesh-red at the base, black at the tip: irides and feet brown. In the female, the colours are paler, and the crest not so long. (Egg). Uniform pale lavender-gray: long. diam. one inch and half a line; trans, diam. eight lines.
Visits this country most years, but in very small numbers. Occasionally met with in diiferent parts of England: rarely breeds with us. Habits somewhat terrestrial. Food coleopterous, and other insects. Builds in the holes of trees. Nest formed of bents, and lined with feathers and other soft materials. Eggs four or five in number.