The Kid Should See This

Two species of guinea fowl at the Dallas Zoo

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Describing them as the “best alarm system,” zoologist Savanna Wheeler introduces the two species of guinea fowl inhabiting the Dallas Zoo’s North Savanna habitat. The birds’ chirps and clucks help them communicate their whereabouts to each other. In the wild, their high-pitched alarm calls alert neighbors of all kinds about nearby predators.

The video shows both species when talking about males and females, but the vulturine guineafowl from Kenya, Ethiopia, and neighboring countries, has black and white striped feathers over a blue breast. Helmeted guinea fowl, a related species that can be found across sub-Saharan Africa, are covered with white spots and have a horn β€œhelmet” or bone-like casque on their heads.

Helmeted guinea fowl and vulturine guineafowl
Guinea fowl are important to the Savanna’s ecosystem. Not only do they sound the alarm when they see danger, they also help keep the soil healthy by breaking down large animal dung. As they forage for insects in the dung, they spread out the piles; this keeps insects in check and returns essential nutrients to a larger area of land.

guinea fowl call
Hear the two species’ calls in the two videos below. First, watch a few wild helmeted guinea fowl filmed by Backyard Birds of Australia: Male VS Female Guinea Fowl Call (along with a few kookaburras, who can also be loud).

Why are these African birds in an Australia-based video? According to The Guardian, guinea fowl are sometimes “kept as an avian guard dog on small holdings or rural properties.” The birds are also adept at eating ticks and other insects.

Then via Bird Jamboree, a vulturine guinea sings out:

Watch these handpicked bird videos next:
β€’ Observing Australia’s Kookaburras, the largest kingfishers in the world
β€’ The surprising alarm-like call of the world’s loudest bird
β€’ Tragopan pheasants’ colorful courtship displays
β€’Β Giant Cassowary, a modern-day dinosaur

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