Woodhoopoes (Phoeniculidae)

Forest Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus castaneiceps) - HBW 6, p. 429

French: Irrisor à tête brune German: Waldhopf Spanish: Abubilla-arbórea Cabeciparda
Other common names: Chestnut-headed Woodhoopoe

Taxonomy: Irrisor castaneiceps Sharpe, 1871, Fanti, Ghana.
Taxonomy uncertain. Although included in Phoeniculus, this species shares several characteristics with Rhinopomastus and is occasionally placed in that genus; some aspects of plumage indicate affinities with Phoeniculus, perhaps especially P. bollei, whereas size, bare-part colours and vocalizations are closer to those of Rhinopomastus; further DNA studies needed to clarify true generic, and hence also subfamilial, affiliation. Birds from E Zaire, Uganda and W Kenya, described as race adolfifriederici, now considered indistinguishable from brunneic.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Irrisor castaneiceps Sharpe, 1871, Fanti, Ghana.
Taxonomy uncertain. Although included in Phoeniculus, this species shares several characteristics with Rhinopomastus and is occasionally placed in that genus; some aspects of plumage indicate affinities with Phoeniculus, perhaps especially P. bollei, whereas size, bare-part colours and vocalizations are closer to those of Rhinopomastus; further DNA studies needed to clarify true generic, and hence also subfamilial, affiliation. Birds from E Zaire, Uganda and W Kenya, described as race adolfifriederici, now considered indistinguishable from brunneiceps. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • castaneiceps (Sharpe, 1871) - Liberia E to Nigeria.
  • brunneiceps (Sharpe, 1903) - Cameroon, Gabon and Congo through Zaire to Uganda; formerly extreme W Kenya.