Sunday, October 16, 2011

Guineafowl on the run

Guineafowl are the quintessential African bird - you can find their image on many crafts and drawings at the markets. Their feathers are absolutely gorgeous, though their scrawny, wrinkly blue heads are the sort that only a mother could love. 

Though not native to the US, we used to have a flock of them at a summer camp I worked at years ago. They earned a reputation for being intelligent and loyal with a bit of a mean streak. I can recall a few instances times when young campers would run at the birds and watch them scatter, only to see them regroup and charge the poor, shocked kid moments later. When one bird was killed by a coyote, the flock was visibly upset, gathering around its body and mourning their fallen comrade. This sense of companionship runs deep - Wikipedia tells me they mate for life.

In South Africa they're largely wild. This was one of a pair I spotted on a recent hike.


  1. This is truly a beautiful bird, the blue head looks like a piece of art.

  2. Great post today, Susie. I never heard about guinea fowl at your camp. Their feathered bodies are gorgeous, but I think the mother guinea fowls are just being nice about those ugly heads.

  3. What an interesting post. I've heard of guinea fowl before but, certainly didn't know this much. Beautiful bird...head and all.

  4. Marvelous post and what a beautiful, colorful bird -- even with a less than beautiful head!! Hope you have a great week, Susie! Enjoy!


  5. This is funny. Your father is learning about your summer camp experiences by reading on the internet your blog posts from South Africa about local birds.