The Vulturine Guinea fowl got its name from its appearance. The bare skin of head and neck makes it very similar to vultures.
Below: Vulturine guineas in the wild.
The vulturine guinea is the largest (60 to 70cm) member of the family and the most striking by a country mile. It is sometimes refereed to as the Royal Guinea fowl, both because of it's colour, stature and amazing blue plumage.
It is a gregarious bird and forms flocks out of the breeding season finding protection in numbers. Like others is has a naked unfeathered head although it does have a crest of brown fluff. It has a longer neck and legs than the standard bird. The eyes are deep red. The legs are longer and the feet are dark grey.
It is a resident breeder in northeast Africa, from southern Ethiopia through Kenya and northern Tanzania.
The long neck projects into a cape of long, glossy, blue and white hackles. The breast is cobalt blue, a rare colour in the bird world and the rest of the body plumage is black, finely spangled with white. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is longer than others in the family. It lays less eggs and has a smaller brood size than other guineas, usually 4 to 8 cream coloured eggs. Eggs take 24 days to hatch.
They have a call quite unlike the other guineas, softer and more peaceful.
The sexes are similar with the female is slightly smaller than the male and with smaller tarsal spurs. Young birds are mainly grey-brown, with a duller blue breast and short hackles.
Behaviour:The vulturine guinea fowl is a gregarious species. They flock together outside the breeding season in groups of around 25 birds. It makes loud chink chink chink calls.
It breeds in dry and open habitats with scattered bushes and trees, such as Savannah or grassland. It usually lays 4-8 cream-coloured eggs in a well-hidden grass-lined scrape.
Vulturine diet:They eat much the same as ordinary Guinea fowl, the food is seeds, leaves, berries, fruits, roots, bulbs, green shoots, small invertebrates and in some cases small mammals
Do Vulturine guinea fowl fly?This Guinea fowl is terrestrial and prefers to stay on the ground and will run rather than fly when alarmed. They can and do fly however but it is a second choice. They are fast and agile and prefer to stay hidden and keep to cover. Vulturine Guineas roost in trees.
Vulturine guinea fowls or hatching eggs to buy:The vulturines do not lay eggs until their second season and then lay in nests of 6 to 10 eggs at a time. To see if vulturine guinea egg or keets are available to but take a loook in our for sale page.
How much does the Vulturine Guinea cost?
Expect to pay $25 to $50 per hatching egg and as much as $1500.00 for a pair.
I haven't seen any for sale in the UK.