Helmeted Guineafowl or Bush Chickens.

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris)

Today I should have stayed in bed instead of going for a walk with the camera. I managed to capture the feet of some birds and the bodies of others, and very few good photos… however I did get a few presentable ones of the Helmet Guineafowl… but I should still have stayed in bed….

Our Bush Chicken is common throughout South Africa, and some run around peoples houses as pets or domesticate chickens… they are fairly noisy when they want to be… they always seem to be in flocks… and when the one starts to make a noise the others all join in..

I think this bird has been exported half over the world. So common here I feel I’m posting photos of chickens…




Looks more like scales than feathers…..



As they scratch away looking for food …..


Today is just not a good day for photos… I feel a bit like a total beginner as though I’ve forgotten all that I have as yet not learnt…

57 thoughts on “Helmeted Guineafowl or Bush Chickens.

  1. No you should not have stayed in bed, these shots are gorgeous. The closeup shots are amazing! The many dots on their feathers, their colored faces and their camouflage are amazing! Keep shooting!

  2. They’re pretty, but geez – they make a real racket when they team up and start stomping around together! They may be noisier than hadedas…maybe.

  3. Apparently, this was first introduced to the UK as a game bird, but now considered a hybrid between chicken and game bird.

  4. Fascinating creatures. I think these shots are great. Hope you’re feeling better about photography soon. I know what it’s like, some days I just can’t get any nice results.

  5. Hey, they might look like chickens to you, but they’re fascinating to me. The helmet doesn’t look real. And the feathers are incredible. Your photos show them really well so I can see how very odd they are. It would be hard to believe this chicken has feathers! I would really like to see one of these guys. They look nothing like the guineas here in the US. Ours are just Plain Janes compared to these.

    Congratulations on the future son-in-law. I assume you said “Yes”. 😉

    • I said yes to the SiL quite a few years ago… couldn’t keep a straight face when I said no… the more comments I get on this bird the more I realise that maybe I must capture him more often… just feels so common to me living here, where you almost see them around every corner…

  6. Well, Bulldog – I’m disappointed in you! Here you are, saying you didn’t capture the things you hoped to – which is disappointing, I’ll agree, but since they were animals or birds you encounter on your walks, presumably you’ll get other chances. It’s difficult to second guess where an animal is going to move to, when it’s going to move, or take flight because of your presence, and without the prescience of the animals, you’re going to have a few misses, surely?

    In any case, just because that gorgeous speckled hen is common, doesn’t make her any less attractive as a subject for study – and what a terrific study you’ve given us. Her feathers, and the pattern of their layering – tremendous, and her face and mohawk … I enjoyed the fruits of your walk very much. 🙂

    • Well I am glad you enjoyed the post .. not all was lost, but for me that normally can second guess most of the animals and birds, was not in the right place yesterday.. bad shot taking, stupidity in composition all completely disappointing as my mind was just not on my normal hobby and patience seemed to have been left behind at home… still the walk did me the world of good and I got to meet another nature lover for a really good walk and talk… however the Guineafowl have never been an attraction to me to photograph.. as they seldom stand still… and seem so common, but they few I posted weren’t too bad and at least gave me something to post…

  7. Love your shots, Bulldog. Actually these birds are so crafty in the sense that people love painting them or have them as decorations on aprons and so on – which you probably know and have seen already. I love them 🙂

    • Linda had a shop in Lydenburg called the Guineafowl, where she sold pillows, cushions, table cloths and all that such stuff that a team of ladies in Mashishing made for her… they sold like hot cakes to the tourists as they just loved the Guineafowl crocheted on the items… maybe that’s why I find them so common…

  8. yey – you are human afterall!!! Seriously though – they are great don’t know what you’re going on about. Although do understand as out with hubby today and I said “how did the photos come out” – ok he says…… must be one of those days.

    • Thanks and glad it happens to others… it was a day of perfectly focused feet, headless birds and even in some cases… complete misses… LOL but the walk was enjoyable, so not a total loss….

    • Thanks LuAnn… these at least co-operated and made it easy… you should see how many headless, bodyless and just legs I managed to capture..then you’d understand why I say I should have stayed in bed… or maybe not stayed in bed but left the camera at home…

  9. Wow! These are stunning shots bulldog and I love guinea fowls! The closeup shots are amazing! They always amaze me with all those dots on their feathers and the coloured faces. Too cute! Thanks for sharing my friend. These shots were worth it! 😀 *hugs*

  10. Not at all, Rob! The everyday and ordinary is a welcome sight–really, all birds and animals should be celebrated as extraordinary, and your photos are great. I really like the closeup of the feathers. I do think guinea fowl are somewhat common all over the world, but I’ve never heard the term “bush chickens.” Nor have I thought of them as a pet…I’d sign up for one! 🙂

    • Thank you… they are just so common here that one sees them almost as chickens, and tend to ignore them in the wild… I know quite a few people that have them roaming free in their gardens… a good insect, tick and snail killer… just the scratch around a lot and love making dust bath beds.. I just find them fairly noisy in the towns… lovely to here in the bush at sunrise though…

  11. GET THE MAN SOME CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You ARE feeling low today..the images are great! Go curl up under the covers until you get our usual Bulldog back…..silly boy…

    • Not feeling bad at all , just damn frustrated when the camera plays up like it did today… maybe the problem was too much chocolate… my anticipating what the birds were going to do next was way off and I managed to take more legs and headless birds than ever before… had a good 5 k walk and met another nature lover to talk to .. so not a bad day after all… just a bad camera day…

    • Definitely not ill… just hate it when the photos just go wrong… I managed to capture birds without heads… even one that had no body only captured the legs… focus all over the place, just a bad camera day.. but had a wonderful walk and found another nature lover to talk to.. camera was just showing me who’s the Boss… damn thing…

      • Oh that’s good to know. I guess the reason Wikipedia mentioned the guinea fowl is that they can be domesticated and kept around just like chickens, whereas tick birds and cattle egrets would do their own thing and live where they please.

        • The Guinea fowl is a good all round insect and grub eater.. so snails etc don’t stand a chance… lots of people have them roaming free in their gardens…

  12. I think they are quite good, and I think you are entirely too hard on yourself (trust me, I am the queen of that). I love my chickens here. They are so sweet and more like pets than anything else. I would love to see a few of these running around my property! Thank you, Bulldog!! As always, very enjoyable!! 😀

    • Thank you Skye… not the best of photos today… took 100 odd and can only use about 10… something wrong with the eye or head… but I did enjoy the walk…

      • Well, to an amateur like me, they look great….I am sure most will agree with me here. So, you are totally outnumbered, Friend!! I am glad you enjoyed your walk. 😀

  13. Pictures of chickens can still be attractive!
    Personally, I wouldn’t mind having some of those as domestic hangers-on. The eggs are eggdible on a two-to-one hen egg basis, I believe.

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