Family Guineafowl (Numididae)

Least Concern

Western Crested Guineafowl (Guttera verreauxi)


French: Pintade de Verreaux German: Kongo-Haubenperlhuhn Spanish: Pintada moñuda occidental

Numida verreauxi


, 1870,

“Natal??” (presumably in error)


Hitherto considered a race of G. pucherani, but differs in its blue face with red only on throat vs bold red pattern around the eye and at the bill base (3); broad black “collar” on the feathered neck vs none (3); dark vs red eye (2); different voice, being “a crack followed by a distinct rapid piping krk pu-pu-pu-pu-puvs “very harsh rhythmical clucking with descending churrs”#R (seemingly 3). Moreover, it differs from G. edouardi (also previously lumped with G. pucherani) in its blue face with red throat vs blackish-grey face and throat (no red at all) (3); hood descending as short tube down front of neck vs hood tying up under chin, with brownish-white patch at rear (3); broad black vs blackish-chestnut collar (ns[1]); dark vs red eye (2); different voice, being as given above vs “a staccato chuk-chuk-chukchukerr#R (seemingly 3). Intergrades between verreauxi and pucherani observed both in captivity and in the wild, and possible hybrids between the two recorded in C Kenya#R. Proposed races sethsmithi (Uganda), pallasi (Guinea Bissau E to Togo) and chapini (S Angola) considered invalid. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. v. verreauxi (Elliot, 1870) – Guinea Bissau E to SW Nigeria; E Congo and SW Central African Republic E through DRCongo to W Kenya and W Tanzania, and S to W Angola.
  • G. v. sclateri Reichenow, 1898 – SE Nigeria and SW Cameroon.
  • G. v. schoutedeni Chapin, 1923 – middle Congo Basin E to SE DRCongo and S to NE Angola.
  • G. v. kathleenae C. M. N. White, 1943 – E Angola and S DRCongo to NW Zambia.
  • Descriptive notes

    46–56 cm; male 910–1160 g. Bare skin of head, including well-developed occipital skin fold, is greyish-blue, with red on throat; iris dark brown; bushy black... read more


    Typical call described as sounding like a cracking sound followed by a distinct rapid piping, “krk... read more


    Forest edge, secondary forest and gallery forest; also (especially race sclateri) in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous. Consumes much plant matter, including seeds, fruits and berries of various families, also shoots, stems, green leaves, bulbs... read more


    Laying mainly during rains, but throughout year in equatorial zone, e.g. eggs Jan–May and chicks Nov–Dec and Mar–May in Uganda. Monogamous... read more


    Apparently sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population not yet assessed, but species is distributed over large range, within which it appears to be reasonably common. Shy... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Western Crested Guineafowl (Guttera verreauxi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 January 2019).