Family Picathartes (Picathartidae)


Grey-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes oreas)


French: Picatharte du Cameroun German: Buntkopf-Felsenhüpfer Spanish: Picatartes cuelligrís
Other common names: Grey-necked Picathartes

Picathartes oreas


, 1899,

Victoria, Cameroon




Equatorial forest belt in SE Nigeria, W & S Cameroon, SW Central African Republic#R, Equatorial Guinea including Bioko, Gabon and SW Congo#R.

Descriptive notes

33–38 cm; 200–250 g. Large odd-looking passerine with fairly long broad tail, long curved bill, and strong legs. Has bare head, with skin of forecrown lilac-blue... read more


Mostly silent, but sometimes gives low, quiet drawn-out rasping or hissing “wheet” call, 1–2... read more


Rainforest; almost always encountered in primary or secondary forest, but may have greater... read more

Food and feeding

Food mainly forest-floor invertebrates, including grasshoppers (Orthoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), earwigs (Dermaptera), ants (Hymenoptera... read more


Associated with wet season, nesting twice yearly where rainfall distribution bimodal; nesting activity recorded Mar–Nov (peak between... read more


Resident; probably stays close to breeding sites/roosts all year.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted range species: present in Cameroon and Gabon Lowlands EBA and Cameroon Mountains EBA. CITES I. Although overall range is relatively large (314, 000 km... read more

Recommended citation

Thompson, H. (2019). Grey-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes oreas). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 May 2019).