This gorgeous beauty visited the tree behind my shop last summer. I had never seen a bird like this before that day. So naturally, I rushed to get my camera out!
It's still the same old 5MP Canon point-n-shoot camera, and I had to use all of the 4x optical zoom that comes with it, to get this picture (and several more in various other poses). I didn't dare get any closer because I didn't want to scare it away. And it's a good thing I didn't. If I had gone any closer, it wouldn't have just taken flight in fear, it would have done something real nasty. It would have shot a "stink dart" at me!
Seriously, I'm not kidding!
When I was taking the photographs, I had no idea what this bird was called. I just assumed it was a woodpecker because of its long beak. Then today, before starting on this post, I decided to look it up on Google.
It turns out that this bird is called the "Hoopoe", and it's the same bird that led King Solomon to queen Sheba. Apparently, it's also been declared Israel's National Bird, although I haven't confirmed that last bit with Google yet.
When this bird senses danger, it shoots one of its stink-covered feather, at the approaching "enemy", with unerring aim, and that stench is apparently unbearable. Here, check out this link.
Guess I was lucky I didn't get a first-hand experience of the Hoopoe stink that day! [grins]
. . .
Here's more in Foto-Friday!