Friday, September 23, 2011

A Hoopoe in Our Yard

What is a hoopoe? Let me start from the beginning.

Over the months of reading about different types of homeschooling philosophies, I found that nature study is an important facet of the Charlotte Mason type curriculums I have considered.  Time outdoors, a nature notebook, animal identification… So I wanted to buy a field guide or two yet didn’t want to spend the money and/or never followed through. Finally my husband said I should go for a DK one—our DK travel guides were always nice with great pictures.

I’ve tried to mark a few birds in our book {RSPB Birds of Britain and Europe by Rob Hume (DK)} that I saw might be in Portugal, and we think we’ve spotted a few. But yesterday we hit the mark. My husband saw a strange bird fly out of our yard with a head full of feathers poking up like a peacock. He came in to tell us and was able to grab the book and one daughter before the bird flew away.


The best thing was that this bird, the Hoopoe, is on the cover of our book! How convenient was that! I missed seeing the bird that first time and found it hard to believe such a bird would be seen here. Little did we know this bird would take a liking to our yard. He has come back several times a day over the past two days, and I’ve had several opportunities to take pictures of it {through windows only so far—it flies away once we open a door.}


I want to keep trying to get a photo of the Hoopoe with its head feathers up. So you can see, here is a photo from Bird Forum by Rajiv Lather .

Rajiv Lather

We’re so thankful at how this has energized nature study for our whole family—albeit somewhat more spontaneous than I planned! It’s amazing what we see when we are looking!


  1. Hi Jenny, It's so wonderful that you are keeping a nature journal with the kids. I think most of our generation had no idea growing up what birds or vegetation lived/grew in our regions. I've also heard good things about Charlotte Mason. You should post more on that as well.

  2. cute! that is fun for you guys...and to think we were just amazed at a giant snail the other day...your bird is cooler ;)



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