The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Crested Guineafowl

Afrikaans name: Kuifkoptarentaal

Crested Guineafowl in False Bay Park

Crested Guineafowl

Photo © Steven Herbert

Guttera edouardi

The Crested Guineafowl is a stunning (or strange – you choose) looking bird. It is not as commonly seen as the Helmeted Guineafowl. In South Africa it is found along forest edges and dense bush in northern KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Kruger National Park and surrounding areas.

These birds are around 40 cm in length and can weigh up to 1.5 kg. Crested Guineafowl eat seeds, fruit and insects. Spiders and millipedes may also be eaten. They sometimes forage along with Vervet Monkeys so that they can eat any leftover fruit dropped from the trees. They will also scratch around in Elephant or rhino dung looking for insects.

Despite their size and the fact that they are normally seen on the ground, the Crested Guineafowl can fly. They fly quickly but only for short distances. They spend the night roosting in trees to avoid predators.

They breed in spring and summer and can lay up to 12 eggs. The nest is very simple – a shallow scrape in the ground in a grassy area. It is the female’s job to incubate the eggs which she does for around 3 weeks. The parents show a lot of care towards their chicks during their initial development.

References and further reading

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 134

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 66

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 79

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 72

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 138

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 179

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 409

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 148

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 183

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 136

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 127

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 101

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 148

Gamebirds and Waterfowl of Southern Africa - Author: CG Finch-Davies, Dr Alan Kemp - Published: 1986 - Page: 119

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 102

First Field Guide to Animal Tracks of Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2003 - Page: 12

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Published: 2005 - Page: 21

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 82

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 24

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 72

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 72

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 94

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 54

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 161

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 92

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 161

BirdLife South Africa


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List of South African Birds

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