Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife

Join Project Noah!


Ptilostomus afer


Although I have added this spotting for the Piapiac, it is as much for the interaction between the bird and the Warthog (Pharcochoerus africanus) as per the 2019 photo comp. brief. The Piapiac is a member of the crow family being the only member of the genus Ptilostomus (related to Asian ground jays of all things). About 36cm (14") long this nearly all black bird has dull brown wings with grey primaries. The tail is long and graduated to a point, the eyes are red and in adults the bill is black ( red with black tip in juvs).


Found here in Murchison Falls National Park in NW Uganda.


The series of images shows a lone Piapiac on the back of a large male Warthog. This is not unusual as these birds feed around and from the backs of large grazing animals. What is amusing is that as we got close, the Warthog took off at a gallop with the Piapiac hanging on for dear life like a tiny jockey. It wasn't until the Warthog stopped that the bird felt it was safe to disembark!

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


remkinloch a year ago

Congratulations on your nomination for SOTW, I'm surprised you haven't had more interest in this series - its very entertaining!!

triggsturner a year ago

Thank you for the nomination Ashley.

AshleyT a year ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

triggsturner a year ago

Thanks Rach. Watching the whole thing play out was very amusing.

remkinloch a year ago

Very cool photos and well taken to capture the warthog on the gallop!

Spotted by

Kiryandongo, Uganda

Spotted on Jun 30, 2019
Submitted on Jul 25, 2019

Related Spottings

African Thrush Piapiac

Nearby Spottings

Hippopotamus Rothschild's Giraffe Cape Buffalo Yellow-billed Oxpecker