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Animals & Attractions

Vulturine Guineafowl

We are home to three adult vulturine guineafowl: a male that hatched in 2006 and came to us in March 2009, and two females that were hatched in 2007 at Prague Zoo and came to us that year.

Location in the Zoo

Our vulturine guineafowl can be seen in our African Aviary

In the Wild

The name of the vulturine guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) comes from its bald head and neck, which is similar to a vulture's.  They have a range throughout North East Africa and can be found in the grasslands, savannahs and scrublands of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda.

They are very striking with their red eyes, blue face, black neck, bright blue breast and long black and white striped feathers.  The strip of brown feathers along the back of their bare head does make them resemble small vultures, although they are not related.  Although adult males and females are alike in appearance, females are smaller in size.

Using their beak and claws to dig and scratch for food, vulturine guineafowl forage for fruit, grubs, insects, roots, seeds, tubers and vegetation.  Due to their dry environment, water is not always readily available to them but they can survive for long periods without drinking and are able to obtain all their liquid requirements from their food. 

Although they can fly well, vulturine guineafowl spend the majority of their time on the ground and prefer to flee from danger on foot rather than fly away.  They are able to call to each other over long distances, not only to warn of danger but also to call the flock together to roost.  Although they live together in large flocks, vulturine guineafowl can become aggressive and injure each other if food becomes scare or roosting sites become crowded.  This is not just limited to adult birds; chicks will also fight each other for food.

Find out more

Status

Not Endangered NE
Data Deficient DD
Least Concern LC
Near Threatened NT
Vulnerable VU
Endangered EN
Critically Endangered CR
Extinct in the wild EW
Extinct EX

Least Concern

For more info on classifications visit www.iucnredist.org

Size

Relative to 6ft (2m) man Relative to 6ft (2m) man

Population

Population is stable, IUCN May 2012

Habitat

  • Grasslands

    Grasslands

Diet

Omnivore Omnivore
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