Picathartes – Africa’s strangest birds

10,000 Birds

The family Picathartidae consists of two very unusual birds; White-necked or Yellow-headed Picathartes , endemic to the Upper Guinea forests of West Africa; and Gray-necked or Red-headed , restricted to Lower Guinea forests of Central Africa. They diverged at approximately the same time as the rockjumpers (two quite unique bird species endemic to Southern Africa and now in their own family), and as a result for a while were even placed in the same family.

Introducing the African Birding Beat

10,000 Birds

Families that are endemic to the continent include such strange birds as Shoebill , Secretarybird , Hamerkop , mousebirds and rockfowl ( picathartes ) and delightful groups including bushshrikes, sugarbirds, rockjumpers, woodhoopoes, turacos and hyliotas. Besides these truly African families, Africa abounds in a wealth of species in other more widespread groups; weavers, barbets, kingfishers, sunbirds, rollers, bee-eaters, and dare I mention them, cisticolas!

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