The Helmeted Guineafowl

The Guinea Fowl is a very common bird that are to be found across large parts of sub Saharan Africa, where their range extends from the South Coast of South Africa up to the Yemen.  They are also found on other continents and they can be found in Brazil, Australia, and France, but allthough very well established now as wild birds, they were probably an introduced species from Africa.  Helmeted Guineafowl can also be found elsewhere as they are often kept in aviaries for their lovely unique colours and markings.  They are also kept for food.  As a result there is often escapees and feral populations in other countries.  As a result, the wild population is sometimes vulnerable to people hunting them for food, but the wild population is strong and is thought to be increasing.

They are an easy to identify bird because of their colours, shape and markings, but they can also be identified reasonably easy by their "kek, kek, kek" call.  Their are two species of Guineafowl in Southern Africa, but the helmet colour makes them easy to distinguish apart.  The Other species is the Crested Guineafowl which is a much rarer bird with a smaller geographic range.  It has a black crest rather than the red of the Helmeted Guineafowl.  They are about 55 cm in length and weigh about 1.5 kg.  There are nine recognised sub-species of Helmeted Guineafowl across Africa.  they are relatively long lived and can reach up to 12 years in the wild, where they can sometimes be found in quite large flocks.

Although they are  easy to see, they are often hard to get close enough to photograph.  My photos below were taken in Botswana and South Africa.