Helmeted Guineafowl

© Karl Svendsen

Iconic South African Bird

Of all the birds in Southern Africa, the helmeted guineafowl, Numida meleagris, is surely one of the most iconic, unmistakable for its bony bare casque or ‘helmet’ on its head, its red wattles and flecked plumage. They are very adaptable birds and they are found abundantly in any open habitat. These attractive ground-dwelling birds are found in noisy flocks of up to forty birds which occasionally aggregate in good feeding areas to produce groups of hundreds or even thousands. But they are not always together in groups and during the breeding season (and after a good deal of chasing antics to separate a mate from the group) monogamous pairs form and break away to nest alone.

Helmeted Guineafowl Behaviour

The male guineafowl is an attentive suitor. He defends his chosen mate, brings her grasshoppers to build up her reserves and shows off to her with the typical guineafowl ‘hunch-back’ display....more

Helmeted Guineafowl Description

The helmeted guineafowl is the largest of the guineafowl in South Africa, at 56 cm in length. This guineafowl has a black to grey plumage with striking white spots....more