Guineafowl (helmeted) / Numida meleagris

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The helmeted guineafowl is capable of flight, but it is mainly terrestrial often choosing to run rather than fly.

It likes to roost in trees.

The helmeted guineafowl has a bony casque or helmet on top of its head from which it derives its name. Both sexes are similar in appearance.

Helmeted guineafowl occupy a wide variety of habitats but they seem to prefer open country and shrub grasslands where they feed primarily in the early morning and late afternoon/early evening. They eat a variety of foods, ranging from seeds, bulbs, berries and flowers to grasshoppers, termites, snails and other small invertebrates.

Except during breeding season, they live in large flocks of up to 200 birds. Sometimes the members of the flock will mount a communal defense against predators. Helmeted guineafowl are not agile fliers but they do manage short bursts of rapid flight. When they sense danger, they usually flee by running away quickly, often plunging into the shelter of thick vegetation.

The helmeted guineafowl usually breeds in or just after the rainy season, when the female lays 6-12 eggs in a slight depression in the ground which she lines with grass. The female incubates the eggs for 26-28 days whilst the male stands guard. Once the eggs hatch he helps the female care for the chicks.