The hoopoe is a beautiful bird with a disgusting habit: it probes foul places for insects with its sharp, slender beak. Its wing feathers bear a zebra stripe, and its head sports a lovely crown of feathers. When frightened, the hoopoe may flutter his crest or drop to the ground and play dead. The offensive odor picked up from its feeding grounds is enough to drive away most of its enemies.
Called lapwing in the KJV, the hoopoe is on the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18). It is frequently seen throughout the Holy Land today.