Mar 31, 2009

Interesting Origins

Photo source: KrakenHammer via Wikipedia
Guinea fowl have interesting origins. Artemis, the Greek god of hunters, killed Meleager the Boar Slayer's sisters, Deianira (wife of Hercules) and Gorge, and transformed them into Guinea fowl. And though Dionysus later persuaded Artemis to undo this deed, by then the guinea fowl as a species had been established. So, when you see these birds, know that they are the descendants of gods.

They were prized birds among the ancient Greeks and Romans, and during the Roman hay day, they were found all throughout Europe, in many a Roman garden, and featured in many a Roman meal. After the fall of the Roman empire, these birds disappeared from the European landscape, only to be returned more than a millenium later by Portuguese traders who imported them from West Africa. Now they are once again popular.

They make for good snake hunters, which is why a buddy of mine keeps a small flock of them on his ranch.

This particular Guinea fowl is a pearled grey helmeted Guinea fowl. And if you're going to be a Guinea fowl, may as well be of the helmeted variety. Better than being a soft head.

Thanks for the links, Fabien.

6 comments:

Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! said...

looks like a post-op transsexual with too much make-up!

Raging Wombat said...

I've never seen one of those. Did Romans like them too?

Anonymous said...

I have a bunch of these near my farm and they are actually quite beautiful with their white speckled black plumage and brightly colored heads. They taste like a cross between chicken and turkey. Mmmmmm...turkey.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine has a bunch of these on her farm. They are funny as hell. One night 20+ of the guys started squawking at the top of their lungs and when we went outside to see what the commotion was about...
They were cowering in fear of a toad.

Kitten said...

They like to roost in trees, and make a sound like "Ack-ack-ak. Ack-ack-AK!" too.

Vanessa said...

Why are all these birds graced with such long eyelashes?
They are beautiful.