We are home to two vulturine guineafowl:
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.