Here they are – the most interesting and sought-after birds in Ghana, according to Africa Geographic safari guru Christian Boix
1. White-necked Picathartes
Bounds through the forest stealthily and effortlessly from one liana to the next in a gollum-like fashion. These birds gather in silent and mysterious crowds by cave entrances to breed in overhangs – building half-cup mud nests just like swallows do. Ravishingly gorgeous and enigmatic, this afro palaeo-endemic is Ghana’s indisputable MEGA!
2. African Piculet
Africa’s smallest Woodpecker may not be the most colourful, but it sure oozes plenty of energy… and if you ever catch sight of one, you will no doubt be amazed by its relentless twig-drilling prowess. The very trait gives away its whereabouts.
3. Great Blue Turaco
Bigga, betta and several times louda, this gargantuan turaco-on-steroids never disappoints!
4. White-throated Blue Swallow
Scarce and fleeting, this riverine swallow never fails to dazzle the observer with its electric and eclectic blues
5. White-crested Tiger Heron
Although it may never be admitted, this extremely shy yet chunky Bittern of the lowland forests will continue to represent a significant milestone in anyone’s Afrotropical birding existence/endeavours.
6. Egyptian Plover
Arguably the most handsome shorebird in the world, this radiant and gutsy wader can be easily seen strutting its stuff along the shores of the Volta, and per-chance, picking debris off a crocodile’s dentures if you are extremely lucky.
7. White-breasted Guineafowl
Vulnerable, rare and localized, this chunky and sought-after game bird moves in a ghost-like fashion through the glooms of Ghana’s lowland forests, providing but glimpses to the lucky few patient enough to track them down.
8. Standard-winged Nightjar
Displaying the most exquisite and delicate plumage in Africa, this lekking nightjar will have you in awe as it approaches or hovers over you with its feathery trains, which at dusk twirl and whirl as they are trailed, resembling two mobbing drongos in hot pursuit. Indeed – a MUST-see to BELIEVE!
9. Yellow or Black-Casqued Hornbill
Loud, loquacious and voluptuous, both these species may be seen with relative ease from the canopy walkway at Kakum NP, a huge advantage from the usual dappled and fleeting glimpses provided from the forest floor. Listening to their approach in the canopies of Kakum, with wing beats that closely resemble a steam engine at full speed, eyeing out these canopy behemoths as they fly past you a few meters away is something you can never forget.
10. Western-wattled Cuckoo Shrike
Resembling one of Madagascar’s Vangas, this near-mythical canopy-dwelling and elusive species has graced very few birders and kept many more wishing, hoping and dreaming for a fleeting sight.
There you have them – the 10 most remarkable birds in Ghana!
Also read: Getting to know the grey parrot
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