H is for Hoopoe Picture

This striking bird has made a strong cultural impression along its range - sacred to ancient Egypt, a symbol of virtue in Persia, listed as detestable in the Bible (aka not Kosher to eat), featured in Greek mythology, brought a message to Prophet/King Solomon in the Quran, were celestial messengers bringing news of Spring in classical Chinese poetry, thieves - or magical - in Europe (harbingers of war in Scandinavia), and connected with death and the Underworld in Estonian tradition. The Hoopoe is the national bird of Israel and protected under other countries' laws as well (because it eats pests).

This bird really gets around.

Part of the Unusual Animal Alphabet.
Continue Reading: The Underworld