Vulturine Guinea Fowl

Vulturine Guinea Fowl

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Credit: RICHARD J. GREEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Vulturine guinea fowl (Acryllium vulturinum). The vulturine guinea fowl is the largest and most spectacular of the guineafowl bird family, Numididae, and is the only member of the genus Acryllium. It is a resident breeder in northeast Africa, from southern Ethiopia through Kenya and just into northern Tanzania. It breeds in dry and open habitats with scattered bushes and trees, such as savannah or grassland. It lays its cream-coloured eggs (usually 4-8) in a well-hidden grass-lined scrape. The adult has a bare blue face and black neck, and although all other guineafowl have unfeathered heads, this species looks particularly like a vulture because of the long heads and neck. The slim neck projects from a cape of long, glossy, blue and white hackles. The breast is cobalt blue, and the rest of the body plumage is black, finely spangled with white. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is also short. The sexes are similar, although the female is usually slightly smaller than the male. Young birds are mainly grey-brown, with a duller blue breast and short hackles. This species' food is seeds and small invertebrates. It makes loud chink-chink-chink-chink-chink calls.

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Keywords: acryllium, acryllium vulturinum, animal, bird, fauna, fowl, guinea fowl, guineafowl, nature, vulturine guinea fowl, wildlife

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