The woodhoopoes are related to the kingfishers, rollers, and the Hoopoe, forming a clade with this last one according to Hackett et al (2008). They most resemble the true Hoopoe with their long curved bills, used for probing for insects, and short rounded wings.
However, they differ in that they have metallic plumage, often blue, green or purple, and lack an erectile crest. They are more gregarious than the Hoopoe, and can often be seen in small groups.
These are birds of open African woodland, savannah, or thornbrush, mainly arboreal in their habits. They are hole-nesters, laying two or three eggs.
There are eight species in two genera.