Guineafowl (Numididae)

Appearance
There are 3 species of Guineafowl found in Kenya.
They are large, or very large terrestrial game-birds. They all have pale-dotted dark plumage, that is vermiculated (striped) in places. Their heads are small and bare of feathers. One has a casque and the other two either feathered or crested crowns. The sexes are similar. All are highly vocal, each with its own individual, raucus call.

Habits
Guineafowl are gregarious birds that live in flocks of up to 100 individuals. Adults pair off at the beginning of the breeding season, usually at the beginning of the rains. The male has been known to pair with one, looking after their subsequent chicks, but mate with others. Lone females have been known to overcrowd other female's nests with their own eggs. A paired-off female typically lays a dozen eggs at the rate of one per day. Nests are usually unlined scrapings under a bush or tall grass.
Guineafowl are usually fairly territorial, preferring to stay in one area, although then can walk several kilometers in a day. They roost in a tree at night, but would generally prefer to run than use their small wings.

Diet
Guinefowl are omnivorous, eating both insects and plant matter.

Resident
Between the three species found in Kenya, Guineafowl can be seen all over the country. Almost every habitat are covered, from bush and woodland to savanna and coastal forest.

Extra Guineafowl Facts
Guineafowl have been in existence for thousands of years. Certainly pre-Roman, when they were a popular food source.

Photographs
Photographed at Kenya's Masai Mara, Meru NP, Nairobi NP & Olare Orok Conservancy.

Crested Guineafowl

Crested Guineafowl

Helmeted Guineafowl

Helmeted Guineafowl