The vulturine guineafowl is often referred to as the "royal guineafowl" because it tends to have the most striking appearance.They are named for their bald head and neck, which resembles a vulture.
Guineafowl are both monomorphic and monochromatic – meaning that both sexes have a very similar form and coloration. In other words, it can be difficult to distinguish the sexes.
The eggshells of this species are extremely thick and difficult to break. Chicks hatch by "breaking out" instead of chipping away at the shell.
These birds are excellent runners and rarely fly, with exception of reaching nocturnal roosting perches.
The chicks are well-developed when they hatch and can fly within a few days.
These birds roost high in trees at night. Their calls, when disturbed or excited, can be heard over long distances.
Nests may contain eggs from more than one hen; hens may share incubation duties.
These birds can be quite aggressive and have been known to fatally injure their own kind if competition for food or prime roosting areas comes into question. Even the chicks have been known to attack one another.
Males tend to be very aggressive towards the hens most of the time. One effective way to distinguish the sexes is by observing each individual's body posture. The males tend to carry their heads high and attempt to look as big as possible. Females, on the other hand, tend to adopt a submissive posture.
These birds can survive long periods without water and tend to acquire the majority of their water requirements from the vegetation that they consume.