Picathartes and White-necked Rockfowl Essay

Submitted By cirocboy97
Words: 352
Pages: 2

The white-necked rockfowl (Picathartes gymnocephalus) is a medium-sized bird in the family Picathartidae with a long neck and tail. Also known as the white-necked picathartes, this passerine is mainly found in rocky forested areas at higher altitudes in West Africa from Guinea to Ghana. Its distribution is patchy, with populations often being isolated from each other. The rockfowl typically chooses to live near streams and inselbergs. It has no recognized subspecies, though some believe that it forms a superspecies with the grey-necked rockfowl. The white-necked rockfowl has greyish-black upperparts and white underparts. Its unusually long, dark brown tail is used for balance, and its thighs are muscular. The head is nearly featherless, with the exposed skin being bright yellow except for two large, circular black patches located just behind the eyes. Though the bird is usually silent, some calls are known. These rockfowl feed primarily on insects, though parents feed small frogs to their young. One feeding strategy involves following Dorylus army ant swarms, feeding on insects flushed by the ants. Rockfowl move through the forest primarily through a series of hops and bounds or short flights in low vegetation. This species rarely flies for long distances. The white-necked rockfowl is monogamous and pairs nest either alone or in the vicinity of other pairs, sometimes in colonies with as many as eight nests. These nests are constructed out of mud formed into a deep cup