Kew Gardens Visit: Bird Watching

I was able to squeeze in some bird watching while at Kew Gardens. As with many gardens, where there is vegetation, you will likely find a bird. Happily, I enjoy gardening and bird watching! Soon after I arrived, I saw a familiar favorite, Canada geese, who were enjoying the lawn. Canada geese fly overhead each fall-winter.

But I was intrigued and stunned to see a most unusual bird, which to me looked like it had the body of a male Montezuma quail and a prehistoric head. This wild and beautiful bird is the helmeted Guinea fowl (also known as Numida meleagris sabyi or ), a native of Morocco. It was fairly big and was alone, and probably a domesticated bird introduced to the gardens.

Domesticated or not, it is always exciting to fire up the brain cells to identify a new bird, drawing from my knowledge of other birds. I made an audiovisual recording of my first impressions of the bird, in absence of easy access to pen and paper. After reviewing my British bird book, it was thrilling to find out who this bird is!


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