Following on from last month’s image of a Grey-necked Rockfowl, our September Image of the Month is the amazing White-necked Rockfowl (also known as Yellow-headed Picathartes), the second and only other representative of this utterly unique African bird family. Endemic to the Upper Guinea forests of West Africa, it occurs in close-canopied primary and mature secondary rainforest. Its populations are highly fragmented and its chosen forest habitat is rapidly being destroyed. Like its cousin, the Grey-necked Rockfowl, it is therefore threatened by extinction and categorized on the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable.
Our upcoming Ghana Mega birding tour offers the rare opportunity of viewing this incredible species at one of its very few remaining accessible sites (in the Brong-Ahafo region, where a colony was recently discovered), along with numerous other Upper Guinea endemics and African rainforest and savanna specials. What’s more, we are very proud of Rockjumper’s role in funding some of the research that went into this particular population, including aerial surveys to find potential nesting sites. Findings also concluded that visits by birders are non-disruptive and pose no threat to the species. In addition, our visit to these community-managed forests will directly aid the conservation of these endangered birds, as well as funding a much needed school for the community’s children. A fascinating read on the conservation issues surround this species and Ghana’s rainforests in general can be found on this link: http://www.oryxphotography.com/wp-content/media/Ghana.pdf
Aside from the rockfowl, other targets on this mega African birding adventure include White-breasted Guineafowl, Nkulengu Rail, Akun Eagle-Owl, Rufous Fishing Owl, White-crested Tiger Heron, splendid Egyptian Plover, Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Forest and Ahanta Francolin, Violet & Guinea Turaco, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Brown and the phenomenal Standard-winged Nightjar, Blue-bellied Roller, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, stunning Moustached, Black and Rosy Bee-eater, Black Dwarf, Black-casqued & Yellow-casqued Hornbill, the minuscule African Piculet, the beautiful Oriole Warbler, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Capuchin Babbler and much besides – up to 500 species can be expected on this tour!
Our Ghana Mega: Rockfowl & Upper Guinea Specials tour is scheduled from 27 November to 19 December 2013 (23 days) (US$6,410 * £4,125 * €5,160 * ZAR54,000 per person sharing) and there are currently still places remaining. We also have a few final spaces available on our more compact Ghana Highlights from 13 – 26 November 2013. For more information on these very special African birding adventures, please contact the Rockjumper office for further details, or else visit our website on the above tour links.
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