Helmeted Guineafowl

Introduction: The helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris) is named after a mythical Greek hero called Meleager. Their preferred habitat range is wide and includes open-country terrain from sub-desert to forest fringes, bases of mountains and in savannah maize and wheat growing regions. Other natural habitats include along rivers and around wetlands and will venture into parks and gardens as well as agricultural areas. Predators include most eagles.

Distribution: Widespread and abundant throughout the country (less for most southern areas including Namib Desert). Especially common from Windhoek extending north to Etosha, Kalahari Desert, Rundu and the Caprivi extending east to Victoria Falls and into Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Makgadikgadi National Park.

Diet: Grasshoppers, termites and other insects during the breeding season. At other times they are mostly vegetarian and feed on underground bulbs and stems of plants, grass and other abundant seeds.

Description: Helmeted guineafowls have characteristic heads, topped with a distinctive bony ridge. They have short wings and rounded spurless legs. The loud, cackling voice is a real give away to their presence and the noise is aggravated when food is in abundance and they form in large flocks.

Breeding: Around 2 to 4 eggs are laid in a scraped ground nest, in tall grass and lined with feathers and grass stems to aid in the incubation process.

Size: 53 to 58cm.

Weight: 1.38kg.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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