Helmeted Guineafowl

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) are native primarily south of the Sahara Desert in Africa and are among 3 African guineafowl species. The Helmeted Guineafowl species has a large body in proportion to its small, featherless, and colorful head. This species has a keratinous, bone-like “helmet” that is reminiscent to that of a Cassowary’s, both of which look like ancient birds. Indeed, guineafowl rank among the oldest of the gallinaceous birds. Helmeted the only species of guineafowl that display this bold characteristic. Helmeted Guineafowl’s plumage on the body is black, with each feather having at least one white circle, oval, or line, to make the overall plumage look gray and dappled from a distance. The bright color of the head can differ depending on the region it is found, and can range from red, blue, white, or a combination thereof. Both Helmeted Guineafowl sexes display a wattle on either side of their beaks, with the male’s wattle being obviously larger than the female’s. Helmeted Guineafowl chicks are almost always found with adults and have yellow and brown plumage on their bodies, and yellow and black striped heads.

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