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Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5084 W: 166 N: 13009] (48434)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-07-13
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital JPEG
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/80 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-05-31 0:34
Viewed: 4882
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
One from the archives. The photo is taken in the early morning dew.

The Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) is the best known of the guineafowl bird family, Numididae, and the only member of the genus Numida. It breeds in Africa, mainly south of the Sahara, and has been widely introduced into the West Indies and southern France.
It breeds in warm, fairly dry and open habitats with scattered shrubs and trees such as savanna or farmland. It lays its large clutch of 20-30 eggs in a well-hidden lined scrape, and the females incubate the eggs for 26-28 days. The chicks are cryptically coloured and rapid wing growth enables them to flutter onto low branches barely a week after hatching. These guineafowl live as long as 12 years in the wild.

The Helmeted Guineafowl is a large (53-58 cm) bird with a round body and small head. They weigh about 1.3 kg. The body plumage is gray-black spangled with white. Like other guineafowl, this species has an unfeathered head, in this case decorated with a dull yellow or reddish bony knob, and red and blue patches of skin. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is also short.

This is a gregarious species, forming flocks outside the breeding season typically of about 25 birds that also roost communally. Guineafowl are particularly well-suited to consuming massive quantities of lyme disease carrying ticks. These birds are terrestrial, and prone to run rather than fly when alarmed. They are, however, like most short- and broad-winged birds, very agile and powerful flyers, capable of hovering and even flying backwards when necessary. Helmeted Guineafowl are great runners, and can readily cover 10 km and more in a day. They make loud harsh calls when disturbed. Their diet consists of a variety of animal and plant food; seeds, fruits, greens, snails, spiders, worms and insects, frogs, lizards, small snakes and small mammals. Guineafowl are equipped with strong claws and scratch in soil for food much like domestic chickens. They have well-developed spurs and use these to great effect when fighting.

In the early days of the European colonisation of North America, the native Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) was confused with this species. This led to the English name of the American bird, since Turkey and Guinea were equally far-off and exotic places. The word meleagris, Greek for guineafowl, is also shared in the scientific names of the two species, although for the guineafowl it is the species name, whereas for the turkey, it is the name of the genus and (in an altered state) the family.

boreocypriensis, eng55, iris, Argus, eqshannon, nglen, Adanac, anel, hester has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Peter Good morning and sunday my friend,
A lovely capture of this white-doted Helmeted Guineafowl. Wonderful shot. TFS.


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-05-31 1:04]

Hi Peter,
Beautiful capture.Well seen and composed.POV,details,BG and composition are exellent.Very well done!
Thanks for posting.

Hi Peter,
A scene very well pictured in the morning dew.This one here is sure getting cozy.
Nice PoV and details.
I tried a Workshop for my own learning.
Hope you wont mind.
TFS & cheers

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5077 W: 260 N: 15590] (50614)
  • [2008-05-31 3:57]

Hello Peter,
Nice one from your archives!
The dots of this Helmeted Guineafowl match well with the dewdrops on the grass. Excellent low POV and fine pose and composition.
TFS this beauty,
Have a good weekend,

Archives can come in handy Peter...and in this case..I can only glance for a second before becoming dizzy?! And I'm not kidding. It plays a joke on my eyes to brain connection...wow what a neat thing. I suppose it doesn't do the same to everyone, but I have vertigo...so I am not surprised. Very well seen!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2461 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-05-31 9:24]

Hi Peter,

I'm with Bob - that plummage makes me dizzy too. It reminds me of ironing dotted or striped shirts years ago before permanent press. Great shot of this Guineafowl with fine details and wonderful colors. The head is superb but it sure is small for that body.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-05-31 14:01]

Hi Peter. What a stange looking one this is . All dots with a colourful face. looks like a clown. . you have captured good detail and colours. well done TFs. good notes too.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-31 20:27]

Hello Peter

Wow,talk about seeing spots before your eyes.
The plumage of this bird is amazing.
Very good pov and dof.
the colours are well saturated.


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5803 W: 89 N: 14914] (62525)
  • [2008-06-01 2:31]

Hi Peter,very nice bird perfectly taken,i like a lot the detail,the colours,and the after rain atmosphere,have a nice Sunday,thanks for share,Luciano

Hi Peter, wonderful B&W plumage, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio


On the road now and just marking.



  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-06-01 17:15]

Hello Peter,
This species plumage pattern makes my eyes go blurry. Fine capture Peter, thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-06-04 6:03]

Hello Peter! Very impressive markings on this great bird! Well composed with a good technique,well done, thanks!


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3043 W: 3 N: 8701] (40526)
  • [2008-06-05 2:21]

hello Peter,
Looks like an elderly round lady in her sunday-dress. I like the attitude, she didn't trust you too much!

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-06-05 11:27]

Hi Peter

Wonderful looking bird with beautiful colours and markings. The head looks so small compared to the body. Nice frame filling composition and great POV



  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1785 W: 36 N: 5588] (18578)
  • [2008-06-07 6:43]

Hi Peter,
Outstanding shot of this gorgeous Guineafowl with such amazing colours, markings and details on its plumage. Fabulous pose captured with precise DOF and a well chosen POV. The dew looks superb. Very nice composition. Kudos.

Hello Mr.Peter,
This picture reminds my time at Kruger National Park.During the time of safari,I noticed them cross the road quickly.Even they used to come in our lodge compound.
Well captured with nice colour and details.
Thanks for sharing,
Regards and have a nice time,

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