Helmeted Guineafowl

Numida meleagris

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

Guineafowl (Numididae)

Code 4

HELG

Code 6

NUMMEL

ITIS

Egg Color:

Yellow to pale brown with dark speckling; sometimes almost white.



Number of Eggs:

6 - 12



Incubation Days:

24 - 30



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

In scrape on ground.



Nest Material:

Grass and feathers.



Migration:

Nonmigratory



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General

Helmeted Guineafowl: A large bird with a unique blue, featherless head and neck, and a brown bony casque. They also have red facial appendages and black filoplumes on their hindneck. They are primarily black with white speckles or spots. Sexes are similar. Juveniles are primarily a dull brown, with creamy red-tipped feathers.

Range and Habitat

Helmeted Guineafowl: Native to the Africa continent, where they are found in many countries south of the Sahara desert. This species has been introduced to many parts of the world, including the Caribbean. At this time there are no known feral populations in the United States, although they are kept in many parks, farms, and backyards where they free roam.

Breeding and Nesting

Helmeted Guineafowl: 6-12 eggs laid over several days in a nest made in a scrape line with grass and feathers hidden under a bush or clump of grass.

Foraging and Feeding

Helmeted Guineafowl: Primarily feeds on plants and seeds, as well as bulbs, roots, berried, fallen grain and flowers. They also consume grasshoppers and termites, but other insects have been recorded.

Vocalization

Helmeted Guineafowl: Cackling calls are loud and vary in intensity and length. It is a nasal staccato "kek-kek-kek-kek-kek-kek-kek..." Flocks keep contact by making a metallic "chenk-chenk-chenk" and a "CHER-cheeng, CHER-cheeng..." that carries far. The female's far-carrying call starts as nasal and clear and ends higher pitched and rasping; "ka-bak."

Similar Species

Helmeted Guineafowl: Wild Turkey is much larger, is brown and black overall without spotting, lacks casque, and has pinkish legs.

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HindneckX
Also called the nape and collar, it is the back of the neck.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X