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Guineafowl: Numididae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Helmeted Guineafowl (numida Meleagris): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, GUINEAFOWL AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS


Guineafowl are native to Africa and Madagascar.

Though primarily found in rainforests, some guineafowl live in open-country habitats other than the desert, such as grasslands and plains with thickets and brush. Others prefer secondary forests, which are forests that grow after a major disturbance such as logging or fire occurs.

Some guineafowl eat small invertebrates (animals without backbones) and a variety of plants. Others also eat berries and other fruit in trees as well as bulbs dug up from underground. Flocks will crowd each other in order to eat, but they don't fight with their bills during feeding. Most species need to drink water to thrive.

Guineafowl have been domesticated (tamed) and are a popular "pet" bird known for their ability to keep Lyme disease at bay by eating the ticks that carry it.

The white-breasted guineafowl is listed as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction, due to hunting and habitat destruction. No other species are threatened.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds