Red-billed Wood-hoopoe Irrisor moqueur, Moqueur Baumhopf Abubilla-arbórea Verde Grön skratthärfågel Groene Kakelaar Upupa arborea purpurea
World: Africa from Senegal and Gambia, East to Ethiopia and north-western Somalia and South to northern and eastern Botswana and central and eastern South Africa.
Kenya: Locally common in wooded habitats up to 2800m. Absent from most of North and North-East Kenya.
The commonest of the Wood-hoopoes which, despite the name, generally looks more blue than green. It looks, especially when seen in the shade, a lot like some of the other wood hoopoes particularly the Black-billed Wood-hoopoe and the Violet Wood-hoopoe. The Black-billed fortunately lives only in the North-East where the Green Wood-hoopoe is absent; the Violet Wood-hoopoe's range does overlap and they're very difficult to distinguish.
Although we've seen solitary birds, they're usually seen in small groups. They are communal birds, travelling in noisy groups and protecting their territory with group displays which consist of fanning their wings and tails while swaying.
They are agile, arboreal bird which cling to branches, often hanging upside down while probing crevices in the bark looking for the arthropods which make up most of their diet. This can make them very difficult to photograph as they seem to be constantly on the move, running around the trunks of trees and hiding behind hanging branches!