Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris
Helmeted Guineafowl, Mole NP, Ghana, June 2011 - click for larger image

Ghana, Ethiopia and Madagascar

The Helmeted Guineafowl is distributed in most of Africa south of the Sahara. See the distribution map at Birdlife International. It has also been introduced into many other parts of the world either as a food source or in wildfowl collections. In the wild it is found in a wide variety of habitats but is particularly common in savanna country. It congregates in large numbers near waterholes as was the case in the large waterhole at Mole National Park (photo 1).

Helmeted Guineafowl, Yabello, Ethiopia, January 2016 - click for larger image There are a large number of races described. Photo 1 is of N. m. galeatus found in West Africa. This sub-species has whiter bare skin on the head (a light blue colour in most other races) and it has a smaller casque on the top of the head.
Helmeted Guineafowl, Berenty reserve, Madagascar, November 2016 - click for larger image Photo 2 from Ethiopia shows the nominate sub-species with the blue face and the erect horn-coloured casque. Photo 3 from Madagascar, where the species was introduced, shows the sub-species N. m. mitratus which has red-tipped blue wattles.

It is omnivorous feeding on plant food and insects including ticks picked off the back of warthogs.

A common call is a hard, grating rattle.

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