Guineafowl (Numididae) | Characteristics, Habitats & Amazing Facts

Name – Guineafowl

Scientific Name : Numididae

Type : Birds 

Age : 10 to 15 years.

Diet : Omnivore

Physical Characteristics:

Length : 40–71 cm

Weight : 700–1600 g

Colour : white, purple, slate, chocolate, lavender, coral blue, bronze, pewter, buff dundotte, blonde, and various pieds.

Skin Type : Feathers

Wingspan : 150cm – 180cm

Current Population :  4.7 millions

Current Population Trend : Decreasing 

Native : Africa, south of the Sahara. 


Main Prey : Insects, Worms, Berries

Habitat : Forest, desert and grasslands 

Predators : Large Mammals and Reptiles

Favourite Food : Insects

Amazing Facts

  • The guinea fowl is a bird that can crossbreed with chickens and pea fowls. Depending on their compatibility, they will also be able to have viable children together.
  • When breeding season begins, the bird constructs communal nests in isolated, shallow depressions. These nests, which are lined with light foliage, are normally hidden in cover to keep predators away from the eggs. Typically, the male is the one who stands watch over the nest.
  • When frightened, the birds flee, but when pushed, they fly for a short distance on short, rounded wings.
  • They sleep in trees at night. Helmet guinea fowls are loud birds that make harsh, repeated calls. The nest is a hollow in the earth with small foliage surrounding it. It has about 12 finely spotted tan-coloured eggs that take about 30 days to hatch. The downy young are successful as soon as they hatch and follow their parents.
  • These communal flocks normally spend the day pecking at the ground for food and digging through the soil with their sharp paws. It is most aggressive in the morning and late afternoon when the sun is more bearable, but at night it seeks refuge in the forest. The flock marches in a single file line and holds together tightly.
  • The birds interact with one another by making loud and repeated noises that are unique to the sex. They are usually a friendly bunch, but encounters between males can devolve into dangerous and bloody battles at times. Males will stretch out their wings, bristle their feathers, and make threatening sounds to make themselves look larger. They will often sometimes charge at each other with the intent to kill or hurt each other.
  • The couple’s nest can hold up to 20 eggs at once, but these nests are communal in nature and can hold eggs from several pairs.
  • To give their children the greatest chance of success, the parents are actively involved in their treatment. They are instinctively prone to divide responsibilities: the mother incubates the larvae, while the father guards and protects. After around eight months to a year, the offspring are able to start their own independent lives.
  • They attain sexual maturity at two years of age, but the female has a finite amount of time to reproduce. Her egg development also declines by the age of five and ceases entirely by the age of eight. The guinea fowl has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years if it lasts long enough.

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