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Animal Detail ViewՄանրամասն` նրանց մասին

28.02.2012

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris)


Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Galliformes

Family: Numididae

Genus: Numida

Species: N. meleagris

 

Description

The Helmeted Guineafowl is a large (53–58 cm) bird with a round body and small head. They weigh about 1.3 kg. The body plumage is gray-black spangled with white. Like other guineafowl, this species has an unfeathered head, in this case decorated with a dull yellow or reddish bony knob, and red and blue patches of skin. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is also short. Various sub-species are proposed, differences in appearance being mostly a large variation in shape, size and colour of the casque and facial wattles.

Range and Habitat

It breeds in Africa, mainly south of the Sahara, and has been widely introduced into the West Indies, Brazil, Australia and southern France. These large birds prefer open, dry grassland and savannah habitats with scattered trees or shrubby cover, and they are often found in agricultural areas as well as suburban parks or gardens. Helmeted guineafowl typically avoid dense habitats such as thick forests or marshes, and they are also absent from the barest deserts.

Behavior

Helmeted guineafowl are relatively social, gregarious birds, particularly in winter when flocks of hundreds may assemble for roosting and foraging. During the breeding season, groups are smaller and may be just a mated pair of birds, accompanied by their offspring after hatching. These birds roost in trees but during the day prefer walking to flying, though they will take flight if threatened.

Diet

It is an omnivorous bird consuming a variety of animal and plant food: seeds, fruits, berries, green matters, snails, spiders, worms and insects, frogs, lizards, small snakes and even small mammals.

Reproduction

These birds are typically monogamous, and their courtship behavior includes males engaging in aggressive, even deadly fights and chases to impress females. The nest is a shallow scrape on the ground, usually in dense grass or vegetation, and it may or may not be lined with fine grasses. The oval-shaped eggs can be nearly pointed on the shorter end, range from whitish to tan in color and are evenly speckled with brown flecks. There are 6-15 eggs per brood, and the female incubates the eggs for 25-30 days. The male parent does the majority of care for the chicks for the first 10-14 days while the female recovers from the incubation period. Young birds stay with their family group for 50-75 days before becoming increasingly independent, but may remain near the group until the next breeding season.

Conservation Status

The species Listed in the IUCN Red List and evaluated as Least Concern.

 



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