Israel names Hoopoe national bird

The Hoopoe was named Israel’s national bird.

After months of consulting with the public and ornithology experts, President Shimon Peres declared the Hoopoe, or “Duchifat” in Hebrew, Israel’s national bird Thursday as part of celebrations of 60 years since the founding of the Jewish state.

The white-crested fowl is commonly seen in the Middle East and has an Israeli commando unit named after it.

Among other candidates for the national title defeated by the Hoopoe were the Palestine Sunbird, whose English name was deemed politically problematic, and the Bulbul, which in Hebrew also serves as slang for the male sexual organ.

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