The Plumed Guineafowl, also known as the Crested Guineafowl, is a bird species belonging to the Numididae family. This bird is native to Sub-Saharan Africa, where it can be found in a broad range of habitats, including woodlands, savannas, and grasslands.
One of the most striking features of the Plumed Guineafowl is the tuft of feathers on its head that forms a crest. The crest, which consists of black and white feathers, can be raised or lowered depending on the bird's mood. In addition to its crest, the Plumed Guineafowl has a distinctive blue skin patch around its eyes and red skin around its beak.
This bird is generally medium-sized, with males weighing around 1.1 kg and females around 0.9 kg. The Plumed Guineafowl is predominantly a ground-dwelling bird, but it can also fly for short distances. These birds are social creatures, often found in groups of up to thirty individuals. They are ground-nesters, which means that they build their nests on the ground and lay their eggs there. The eggs are incubated by both parents and usually hatch after 24-27 days.
The Plumed Guineafowl is an omnivore, feeding on a variety of foods, including insects, seeds, fruits, and small animals. This bird is an important prey species for predators such as lions, hyenas, and eagles. Interestingly, they have a habit of taking dust baths to keep their feathers clean, which is quite a unique behavior.
Unfortunately, the Plumed Guineafowl faces several threats in the wild, including habitat loss due to the conversion of natural areas to agricultural land, hunting, and the introduction of non-native predators such as feral cats and rats. As a result, this bird has been listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Overall, the Plumed Guineafowl is a fascinating and unique bird species that adds to the beauty and diversity of Africa's wildlife. Efforts are needed to protect this bird and its habitat to ensure its survival for future generations to come.