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Vulturine Guineafowl

Vulturine Guineafowl
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-22
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Blue Things II, TN Classics [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-10-09 8:54
Viewed: 6838
Points: 62
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Vulturine Guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) is the largest and most spectacular of the guineafowl bird family, Numididae, and is the only member of the genus Acryllium. It is a resident breeder in northeast Africa, from southern Ethiopia through Kenya and just into northern Tanzania. It’s locally common.

It breeds in dry and open habitats with scattered bushes and trees, such as savannah or grassland. It lays its usually 4-8 cream-coloured eggs in a well-hidden grass-lined scrape.

Vulturine Guineafowl is a large (61-72cm) very distinctive and beautiful bird with a round body and small head. It is longer in the neck, legs and tail than other guineafowl. The adult has a bare blue face and black neck, and although all other guineafowl have unfeathered heads, this species looks particularly like a vulture because of the long bare neck and head.
The slim neck projects from a cape of long, glossy, blue and white hackles. The breast is cobalt blue, and the rest of the body plumage is black, finely spangled with white. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is longer than others in the family Numididae.
The sexes are similar, although the female is usually slightly smaller than the male and with smaller tarsal spurs. Young birds are mainly grey-brown, with a duller blue breast and short hackles.

Vulturine Guineafowl is a gregarious species, forming flocks outside the breeding season typically of about 25 birds. This species' food is seeds and small invertebrates. This guineafowl is terrestrial, and will run rather than fly when alarmed. Despite the open habitat, it tends to keep to cover, and roosts in trees.

It makes loud metallic chink-chink-chink-cheenk-cheek krrrrrrrk calls.

(Sources: Wikipedia and ‘Birds of Africa, South of the Sahara’ by Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan

eqshannon, jaycee, uleko, rousettus, siggi, sandpiper2, Argus, boreocypriensis, NinaM, albert, SelenE, Adanac, Maite, nglen, Dis. Ac., Janice, anel, hester, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

I put this into my blue theme but it is also a classic...super shot Peter...What wonderful colors. I'll bet you were very pleased to see how good this one was when you got it onto the computer...GREAT!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-10-09 9:36]

Hi Peter,

I never knew such a creature even existed. It is scary seeing the vulture face with this well designed plummage. Their colors, stripes and polka dots are beautiful. Excellent details - I especially like the group of four. They remind me of college boys at a formal discussing whether or not to ask someone to dance. This is a truly fascinating post.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-10-09 9:42]

Hello Peter,
Brilliant capture of this group of beautiful Guineafowl! Ethiopa seems a fantastic place to visit! I like your composition and details are very sharp. Their luminiscent colours really stand out against the light background.
Well done!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Ha Peter,

Prachtig shot van deze hoendersoort
Compo, POV, DOF en kleur zijn Fantastisch
jammer dat je deze beesten in Nederland niet in het wild tegen komt

TFS Thijs

Hello Peter
Once a great capture again from Ethiopia. What a lovely group of colorful Guineafowls. Great focus and POV. Composition and colors also great. Thanks for sharing this beauty. well done

Hello Peter,

A really superb shot of these Guineafowl specie with outstanding colors & detail. TFS.



  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-10-09 11:30]

Hello Peter,
A lovely capture of this Vulturine Guineafowls . Excellent composition and sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Best regards Siggi

Hi Peter, splendid capture of elegant birds, lovely composition with excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hi Peter

Never seen these ones before, a very interesting looking species
Great composition and plumage


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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-10-09 13:08]

Hello Peter,
A superb capture, beautifully composed, of a group of Vulturine Guineafowls. Their poses, the POV and contrast with the OOF natural BG are great.
TFS another of your fine Ethiopean bird images,

Hi Peter, wonderful capture of these beauties:) Wonderful colours and details. Nice composition my friend!
TFS and cheers,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-10-09 15:30]

Hi Peter,another incredible and spectacular specie!The colors of this birds are fantastics,you had a great class to take that so perfectly,my best compliments and thanks for share your work,Luciano

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-10-09 16:46]

Hi Peter, this is a beautiful capture of birds unknown to me but that I find superb. The colour of their plumage against the colour of the dried road is very nice and the composition is superb. Thank you!


Peter, you have got a gem of a picture from Ethiopia.
I love the appearance of these wonderful birds.
What lovely colours and patterns on their bodies!
A sharp and very attractive image of these birds in their natural habitat.

Hello Peter,

Very nice presentation of these birds. Excellent POV, DOF and focus. Superb detail of the feathers. Great colours.

Hi Peter,
Very nice composition and superb shot
Well done

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-10-10 3:08]

Hello peter, Very nice shot but I like the composition here. Good view. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-10-10 5:51]

Hi Peter,
They have a striking plumage! Great colors and patterns... Thanks for sharing this beautiful group :o)
Have a nice weekend,

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-10-10 8:33]

Hello Peter,
When I see these fowl I am so impressed with the black and blues of their plummage. It must be a thrill to see them in their natural surroundings. Your image is extremely well composed with fantastic color, thank you Peter.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-10-10 9:21]

Hello Peter
How nice to see your gallery again so full of interesting and marvellous pictures! Magnificent picture of this group of curious birds. I like a lot those blue bibs. The focus and DOF are splendid as well as the composition. I love it.
Thank you very much for sharing.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-10-10 13:05]

Hi Peter. Firstly thanks for the intersting notes. What a fantastic looking bird . They look as if they have long coats on. good detail and bright colours. well done TFS.

Have a good weekend.

Hallo Petert,

Mooie compositie van deze Parelhoenders.
Prachtige kleuren en detailering.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-10-10 14:59]

Hello Peter,
what a fine capture of these weird but wonderful Guineafowl :-)
Those electric-blue feathers are incredible!
Very good sharpness.
Great range of poses :-)

Well done,

Hi Peter,
Excellent display of these Vulturine Guineafowls. Though the head is a bit 'vulturine' they are elegant birds. Good composition, POV, sharpness of details, colours.

Hello Peter

I drove up to a flock of these guys one morning,the noise they made was amazingly loud.
They called an alarm that was very loud.
This image reminds me of that day.
The focus is sharp with lovely detail.


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  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-10-11 0:03]

I haven't seen guineafowls like these before Peter. They are really quite attractive (for a guineafowl) and I do like their colours.
Well captured, good sharpness and composition.
It's really good to see them

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-10-11 5:39]

hello peter,
These Guineafowls are something really special. I just saw some of them in a documentary. They have such a funnny way to walk around! Very amusing picture and nice composition with the two groups looking in different directions. I always think that they must have a very tiny brain..
Best regards

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-10-14 13:11]

Hello Peter! Those are great birds and your shot is a very good one! Well composed, sharp and clear. Well done!


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  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-10-19 13:24]

Hi Peter

What great looking birds with their bright blue breasts and almost pin stripe backs. I love the group here as they are showing off their lovely feathers so well. Lovely to see.



great colours, TFS Ori

Hello Peter

Beautiful photo of these exotic vultures,
fine POV, DOF, and the way they are framed,
beautiful soft light, great focus, sharpness,
and details of their plumage, TFS


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