Hoopoe. Hudhud
Israel's national bird Hoopoe.Creative Commons/Fabrizio Moglia

Many must have wondered how the ferocious cyclone Hudhud was christened and what lies behind its name.

The term hudhud, which is now being widely known for the cyclone that is approaching south and southeast of India, was named after a little bright orange, insectivorous Afro-Eurasian bird 'Hoopoe'.  

Found across Afro-Eurasia—Africa, Europe and Asia, Hoopoe is the national bird of Israel, which is called Hudhud in Arabic.

Oman reportedly suggested this name, according to the practice adopted by eight countries to name the cyclones generating on the Indian Ocean—Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.

Ironically, the dreadful cyclone has been named after the beautiful peace loving creature's name that is also referred 'leader of birds' in a Persian poem—'The Conference of the Birds', according to The Hindu. Meanwhile, the future cyclones have to see many more such names, including Nilofar (a lotus), Titlli (butterfly), Bulbul (another bird) among others.

The eight nations that were asked to name cyclones in turns include India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) executed this practice for years now, only to make it convenient for communications and forecast, and for the people to understand the warnings.

"The names of cyclones in Indian Seas are not allocated in alphabetical order but are arranged by the name of the country, which contributed the name. It is a usual practice for a storm to be named when it reaches tropical storm strength (winds of 34 knots)," The Times of India quoted IMD.

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