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Woodhoopoes (Phoeniculidae)

Black-billed Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus somaliensis) - HBW 6, p. 430

French: Irrisor à bec noir German: Schwarzschnabel-Baumhopf Spanish: Abubilla-arbórea Piquinegra

Taxonomy: Irrisor somaliensis Ogilvie-Grant, 1901, Fer Libah, Ogaden, Ethiopia.
Generally considered to form a superspecies with P. purpureus and P. damarensis. All three sometimes treated as conspecific, which may be a more realistic treatment; more study needed. Race abyssinicus has been thought to be a hybrid of race neglectus and P. purpureus niloticus, but the two species are said to occur sympatrically without apparently interbreeding in parts of S Ethiopia and N Kenya. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • abyssinicus (Neumann, 1903) - N Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • neglectus (Neumann, 1905) - C Ethiopia.
  • somaliensis (Ogilvie-Grant, 1901) - SE Ethiopia, W Somalia and NE Kenya.

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