Jan 19, 2008

Guinea Foul

I'm no expert in guineafowl, but I think this is a Helmeted guineafowl. They are native to Africa, and busy themselves with eating bugs and seeds (some friends of mine own a ranch and they keep them to eat the snakes). They mate for life, typically. There are domesticated strains of them found throughout the world. Their young, called keets, are so tiny that 30 of them can easily fit into a box (cute little chicks...).

They are also, apparently (look into those red eyes) possessed by the devil.

UPDATE: I was wrong, this is a
vulturine guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum). Thanks for the correction, Christopher Taylor and anonymous.

Photo source: Frank Wouters


Anonymous said...

On one of my trips to the zoo I was hanging out watching these things, and a dad with two small boys walked up looking like he'd already had a long day. The kids keep asking, "Dad, what does the guinea fowl eat?" Dad (in monotone): "Seeds and bugs and grass." Kids: "What does the giant porcupine eat?" Dad: "Seeds and bugs and grass."
"What do the meerkats eat?", etc. etc. Everything in the entire zoo, apparently, eats "seeds and bugs and grass".

Christopher Taylor said...

Not a helmeted guineafowl, no.

I think it's a vulturine guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum).

Anonymous said...

Yup, vulturine. One of the guys at my zoo calls them Mr. Burns birds because of the similar "hairdo."

Denita TwoDragons said...

They're also loud as all get-out. They will call at all hours of the day with this grating two-beat screech that's remeniscent of Fran Drescher on helium, screaming "buckWHEAT?! buckWHEAT?! buckWHEAT?!" in your ear at three in the morning.

But yes, they ARE the best anti-snake defense you can ever find. Better even than carnivorous mammals!


I Love Africa said...

LOL, Oh I find this so funny, I'm probably the only person on this planet that loves the sound of the Guinea Fowl!!! I'm heading back to Tanzania in a couple of days to my mother and father in laws place in Arusha. And boy do they have Guinea Fowl lol. Keeps me in touch with nature.