Tag Archives: Guinea Fowl

Territorial Dispute

Guinea Fowl 4

Haiku 78

Guinea Fowl battle

Staccato machine gun fire

It is 2 a. m.



It is almost summer here in Cape Town and every animal is twitterpated. We are used to hearing the sounds of Egyptian Geese, Hadedah and Guinea Fowl squabbling loudly over territory all day long; but not usually in the middle of the night!

This is the third morning in a row I’ve had a very early wake up call. Add to this my crippling allergies and I am walking around during the day like a Zombie!


post script: For Scooj – I know you’re counting! Strictly speaking ‘fire’ is one syllable, but regional accents may break it into two; ‘fi-yur’. So if you pronounce it that way here is an alternate second line: ‘Rapid machine gun fire’.

I went with ‘staccato’ because it conveys the sound better. 


Guinea Fowl Logic

Guinea Fowl 3

Guinea Fowl

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few   – Spock.

Picture the scene:-

You are driving quietly through the empty streets of suburbia. The sun is shining and all is peaceful.

Up ahead you notice a flock* of Guinea Fowl. There is one lone one on one side of the road, and about twenty on the other.

Now, you just know this one lone bird is going to wait till the last moment as your car approaches, then suddenly dart across the road, right under your car tyres. So you slow down accordingly and creep forwards carefully, keeping your eyes glued on this lone bird.

Nearer and nearer you approach. The birds have all seen you and are getting a bit edgy. You inch a little closer. Nearly upon them now. Watch that one lone bird.

At the last second, all twenty birds dart across the road right under your tyres, to join the one lone one on the other side of the road.

Clearly, in Guinea Fowl logic –

The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the few!


post script: No wonder the collective noun for a flock* of Guinea Fowl is – Confusion!


My Little Chickadee!

Guinea Fowl Chick

Guinea Fowl Chick

Guinea Fowl are notoriously bad parents. This little chick was wandering round my garden with other family members, completely oblivious to the fact that dogs live here.

Guinea Fowl 2

Guinea Fowl 2

You’ll often see families of 12 or more chicks with a few adults roaming round the neighbourhood.

Guinea Fowl 3

Guinea Fowl 3

Next time you see them, there will be fewer chicks, until finally there is only one left, that might make it to adulthood.

Guinea Fowl 4

Guinea Fowl 4

Guinea Fowl are protected. You are not allowed to kill them for supper, even if they do look and act like funny chickens. But however many chicks die, enough grow up so that Guinea Fowl have proliferated, and become a complete nuisance around the neighbourhood in a very short time.

You can listen to the annoying sound they make here Male Guinea Fowl Sounds


Watch the Birdie!

I just took the opportunity to walk Mr Spaghetti Legs and Little Monkey, in glorious winter sunshine, during a break in the storm clouds.

In a small area of open grass by a busy road I saw:

3 Guinea Fowl, 2 Egyptian Geese and 2 Spotted Dikkop

I was particularly happy to see the Dikkop, as I haven’t seen them around for a while. They have very long legs for their body size so look quite comical.

A little farther along, on the soccer field, there were:

20 Guinea Fowl, 2 Egyptian Geese and 2 Hadeda Ibis

None of these birds were very common in this area twenty years ago, but they obviously find it to their liking, as they thrive here. What pleasure they add to a simple dog walk. 🙂

The highlight for me, however, was the Black Headed Heron that I saw again last week, for the first time in many years. It is about a metre tall, blue-grey, with a long neck and beak. Its defence seems to be to stand perfectly still with its beak held vertically in line with its neck. This worked so well with my old dogs, that we could pass by within a metre of it, and my dogs never noticed it.

This didn’t work with Little Monkey, as she had already spotted it moving behind the trees. While she does not chase birds on the field, I don’t know what she would have done with this very large bird. Luckily, she was back on the lead, and by the time we approached the heron, it had adopted its completely motionless stance, and would be undetectable to most dogs. Certainly, Mr Spaghetti Legs never knew it was there.