Vulturine Guineafowl

A native of northeast Africa, the vulturine guineafowl is the largest bird in its genus. Taxonomically, this bird is more dinosaur than guineafowl. But its sociality is post-modern.

“Multilevel societies, where stable groups move together through the landscape, overlapping and associating preferentially with specific other groups, are thought to represent a most complex form of social structure.” ~ Greek biologist Danai Papageorgiou

Vulturine guineafowl are gregarious, with stable social relationships. They live in multilevel societies, with a variety of individual and intergroup relations. Vulturine guineafowl remember their associations at both individual and group levels. Unlike other group-living birds, and humans, vulturine guineafowl exhibit little intergroup aggression.


Danai Papageorgiou et al, “The multilevel society of a small-brained bird,” Current Biology (4 November 2019).

Complex society discovered in the vulturine guineafowl,” (4 November 2019).

Vulturine guineafowl photo courtesy of Quartl.