The helmeted guineafowl, scientific name Numida meleagris is the best recognized of the guineafowl hen family, Numididae, and the one member of the genus Numida. In this article, I am going to talk about the Helmeted Guineafowl profile, facts, sound, eggs, feathers, calls, etc.
It’s native to Africa, mainly south of the Sahara, and has been extensively launched into the West Indies, Brazil, Australia, and Europe (e.g. southern France).
A large-bodied, small-headed, slaty-gray gamebird completely lined with rows of lots of white spots.
The distinctive head sports activities a strange bone-like casque and naked warty facial skin, which is colored white, blue, or pink relying on geographic location.
Younger birds are brown and are virtual all the time discovered with adults.
Helmeted guineafowl Overview
Flocks of Helmeted guineafowl have tailored remarkably properly in the northern and southern suburbs of Cape Town.
Flocks wander slowly alongside the quieter suburban roads whereas foraging on the grassy ‘pavements’ and in gardens the place the fence is low sufficient for some to enter without feeling separated from their flock. At night time they usually roost on the roofs of bungalows.
Whereas residents usually admire the native wildlife, they could be a nuisance, obstructing visitors and making a variety of noise within the early morning in the course of the mating season.
It’s common all through its vary, and enormous flocks roam the savannas, digging for invertebrates and tubers.
Helmeted guineafowl is native to Africa and is found primarily within the south of the Sahara.
They’re sedentary and breed in heat, pretty dry, and open habitats with scattered shrubs and bushes similar to savanna or farmland.
Helmeted guineafowl Habitat
They breed in heat, pretty dry, and open habitats with scattered shrubs and bushes similar to savanna or farmland.
Helmeted guineafowl Description
The helmeted guineafowl is a big 53 to 58 centimeters (21 to 23 in) hen with a spherical physique and small head.
They weigh about 1.three kilograms (2.9 lb). The physique plumage is gray-black spangled with white.
Like different guineafowl, this species has an unfeathered head. On this species, it’s adorned with a boring yellow or reddish bony knob, and naked skin with pink, blue or black hues.
The wings are brief and rounded, and the tail is likewise brief. Numerous sub-species are proposed, variations in look being principally a big variation in form, size, and color of the casque and facial wattles.
Behavior and ecology
This can be a gregarious species, forming flocks outdoors the breeding season usually of about 25 birds that additionally roost communally.
Guineafowl is significantly well-suited to consuming large portions of ticks, which might in any other case spread Lyme diseases.
These birds are terrestrial and liable to run moderately than fly when alarmed. Like most gallinaceous birds, they have a short-lived explosive flight and depend on gliding to cover extended distances. Helmeted guineafowl can stroll 10 km and extra in a day.
Their bodies are well-suited for operating and they’re remarkably successful in sustaining dynamic stability over rough terrain at speed. They make loud harsh calls when disturbed.
Their weight-reduction plan consists of quite a lot of animal and plant meals. In the course of the non-breeding season, N. meleagris eat corns, tubers, and seeds, significantly of agricultural weeds, in addition to various agricultural crop spillage.
In the course of the breeding season, greater than 80% of their diet could also be invertebrates, significantly arthropods like beetles.
Guineafowl is outfitted with robust claws and scratches in loose soil for meals very similar to home chickens, though they seldom uproot rising vegetation in so doing.
As with all the Numididae, they haven’t any spurs. They may stay for as much as 12 years in the wild.
Males usually present aggression in direction of one another and can partake in aggressive combating which can depart different males bloodied and in any other case injured.
They may try and make themselves look more fearsome by raising their wings upwards from their sides and bristling their feathers throughout the size of the physique, they usually can also rush towards their opponent with a gaping beak.
The nest is a well-hidden, usually unlined scrape and a clutch is generally some 6 to 12 eggs which the female incubates for 26 to 28 days.
Nests containing bigger numbers of eggs are usually believed to be the results of a couple of hens utilizing the nest; eggs are massive and an incubating hen couldn’t realistically cowl considerably greater than a normal clutch.
Home birds at the least, are notable for producing very thick-shelled eggs which might be lowered to fragments because the young birds (often called keets amongst hen breeders) hatch, moderately than leaving two massive sections and small chips the place the keet has eliminated the top of the egg.
It has been famous that domesticated guineafowl hens are usually not the most effective of moms, and can usually abandon their nests.
The keets are cryptically colored and fast wing progress permits them to flutter onto low branches barely per week after hatching.
Helmeted guineafowl Calls
Guineafowl usually behaves like lunatics, charging round issuing a loud and distinctive “kek-kek-kek-kraaaaaaah” alarm.
It additionally calls a particular, plaintive “kuuuh-keeerk”. Crested Guineafowl differs from Helmeted Guineafowl by being darker and having a plumed crest on high of the pinnacle.
Helmeted guineafowl Habits and Lifestyle
Helmeted guineafowl is gregarious; they kind of flocks outdoors the breeding season usually of about 25 birds that additionally roost communally. These birds are terrestrial and like to run rather than fly when alarmed.
They have a short-lived explosive flight and depend on gliding to cover prolonged distances.
Helmeted guineafowl can stroll 10 km and extra in a day and are nice runners. They make loud harsh calls when disturbed.
Helmeted guineafowl is diurnal and their day begins with the journey to a water gap after which the flock if off to feed.
Guineafowl has robust claws and scratches in unfastened soil for meals very similar to home chickens, though they seldom uproot rising vegetation in so doing.
In the course of the midday warmth, birds relax in shades and should have a mud tub.
Helmeted guineafowl Diet
Helmeted guineafowl is omnivores. Their diet consists of quite a lot of animal and plant meals; these birds eat seeds, fruits, greens, snails, spiders, worms and bugs, frogs, lizards, small snakes, and small mammals.
Helmeted guineafowl Reproduction
Helmeted guinea fowl are seasonal breeders. Summer is the peak breeding season through which the testes might weigh as much as 1.6 gm, whereas during winter no breeding activity takes place.
The serum testosterone stage is as much as 5.37 ng/ ml in the course of the breeding season.
Helmeted guineafowl is monogamous and mates for all times. In the course of the breeding season, males usually present aggression in direction of one another and can partake in aggressive combating which can depart different males bloodied and in any other case injured.
They may try and make themselves look extra fearsome by elevating their wings upwards from their sides and bristling their feathers throughout the size of the physique, they usually can also rush in direction of their opponent with a gaping beak. The nest is a well-hidden, usually unlined scrape.
The nest is a well-hidden, usually unlined scrape. The female lays a clutch of 6 to 12 eggs which she incubates for 26-28 days.
The chicks, referred to as keets are precocial at hatching and are in a position to depart the nest inside few hours and forage for themselves.
The younger fledge around 10-14 days after hatching however normally stay with their mother and father for 50-75 days before turning independent.
They turn out to be reproductively mature at 2 years of age.
I hope this article on helmeted guineafowl was worth reading.
Other Recommended Articles
- Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger) Bird Profile
- Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) Profile
- Black-crowned Night Heron Facts | Habitat | Call | Size
- Black-headed Grosbeak Description and Facts
- Brown-crested Flycatcher Bird – Fact | Call | Nest | Song
- Common Yellowthroat Warbler Description
- Ash-throated Flycatcher Bird – Facts | Song | Call | Nest
- Small Bird with Yellow Throat – List | Profile
- Lineated Woodpecker – Description | Call | Size | Nest
- Cocoi Heron – Ardea cocoi – Description and Facts
- What are the Different Types of Kingfisher Birds?
- Banded Kingfisher Bird – Facts | Sound | Song | Weight
- River Kingfishers – Facts | Description | Profile
- Belted Kingfisher Nest – All About Its Home
- Malachite Kingfisher Bird – Facts | Juvenile | Call | Diet
- Giant Kingfisher Facts | Description | Call | Size | Sound
- Green Kingfisher Bird – Description | Fact | Call | Range
- Micronesian (or Guam) Kingfisher – Description | Facts
- Pied Kingfisher Bird – Facts and Description
- Belted Kingfisher Bird – Facts | Description | Call