The Bird of the Year 2022 at the Museum of Nature Hamburg

The Bird of the Year has moved into its showcase at the Museum of Nature Hamburg. © Florian Steinkröger


It already has a striking crown of feathers – now it has also been named Bird of the Year 2022 by NABU and LBV: The warmth-loving hoopoe normally only comes to Germany to breed, but shows up here at the Museum of Nature Hamburg all year round. Here it can now be admired in the “Bird of the Year” showcase and we can listen to its lovely calls.

“Poison is no solution” – that was the election slogan of the hoopoe Upupa epops, which convinced the electorate. In the public election for Bird of the Year 2022, he left the other candidates far behind. This is because many insects that are on the hoopoe’s menu are threatened by pesticides.

The bird of the year likes it warm: In Germany, it is therefore only found in a few areas such as the Kaiserstuhl in Baden-Württemberg. Here, it is mainly found in orchards or vineyards. As a migratory bird, it only comes to Germany to breed. A total of about 800 to 950 pairs gather in Germany every year. In late summer they leave again and spend the winter in Africa.

The hoopoe breeds in tree and old woodpecker cavities or in crevices of walls. To ward off intruders, the females and young secrete a foul-smelling secretion through their brush glands. For this reason, we also say colloquially: “You stink like a hoopoe!”. If the stench has not yet driven them away, the young animals still hurl droppings at them with great accuracy.

This will not at the Museum of Nature Hamburg, where visitors can get very close to the specimen, odor-proof and protected from droppings. Our museum staff will be happy to help you discover the display case.

There is more to see than just the Bird of the Year: The showcase also contains exciting facts about the hoopoe.
There is also a switch on the display case: if you press it, you hear an “up-up-up”. This call also earned the hoopoe the scientific name “Upupa epops”.
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