The Crested Guineafowl, also known as the crested guinea hen or crowned guinea fowl, is a species of guineafowl native to sub-Saharan Africa. They belong to the family Numididae, which includes other species of guineafowl such as the Helmeted Guineafowl and the Vulturine Guineafowl.
The Crested Guineafowl is a medium-sized bird, measuring about 50-60 cm in length and weighing around 1-1.5 kg. It gets its name from the prominent crest of black feathers on its head. The rest of its feathers are mainly brown and buff-colored, with black spots and white speckles scattered throughout its body. They have a short, curved beak and bright red wattles and a small patch of bare red skin around their eyes.
These birds are known for their distinct call, which is a loud, high-pitched whistle that can be heard echoing through the jungle. They are omnivores, feeding on a variety of insects, seeds, and fruits. They also have a habit of digging up bulbs and tubers from the ground with their strong, sturdy beaks.
Crested Guineafowl are found in a variety of habitats including savannas, forests, and grasslands. They are social birds and can be found in groups of up to 20 individuals. They are ground-dwelling birds and do not fly much, although they are capable of short bursts of flight if necessary. They are primarily diurnal birds, meaning they are active during the day and rest at night.
These birds have a unique breeding habit, where the male will gather a harem of females and mate with each one. The female will then lay eggs in a communal nest, which is the responsibility of all the females to protect and care for.
Unfortunately, the Crested Guineafowl is facing several threats in the wild, including habitat loss and hunting pressure. However, they are still widely distributed and are currently classified as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Overall, the Crested Guineafowl is a fascinating and unique bird species that plays an important role in many African ecosystems.