The Helmeted Guineafowl is widely distributed throughout southern Africa and was traditionally hunted for sport. People often marvel at these birds with their black-grey bodies, unmistakable colourful head and featherless crown. They usually form relatively stable flocks of 15 to 40 birds during non-breeding season and are often a familiar sight in suburban parks and gardens. Guineafowl are very social birds, and walk long distances a day in search of food. They can also be territorial and protective of their young. Like chickens, they roost in trees at night to avoid any predators. Guineafowl are seen as a nuisance on the road, and can be domesticated.
The species is widely distributed in southern Africa, occurring throughout the whole of South Africa, with a small population towards the Northern Cape. They tend to avoid arid areas and rain forests. Guineafowl are adapted to roam in any kind of habitat and are commonly seen. Most of them prefer grasslands, thorn veld and agricultural land. They do well in open areas. They are not migratory birds, but they do move around more during breeding time. Helmeted Guineafowl tend to roost in trees at night to avoid any attacks by predators. The adult males will groom themselves during social get-togethers and take dust baths in the soil. During the quieter time of the day these birds will rest under cover. The females are mostly responsible for choosing the nesting site. They will usually just scrape twigs and grasses together and line the nests with soft plant material and feathers. These nests will always be concealed.
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