This was a ‘wildlife’ sighting that had me slamming on my brakes and flipping a u-turn. Only a few miles from my house in a Denver suburb I spotted these two, very odd looking creatures walking along a road. My first thought was that they were turkeys but as I got closer and got a better view, I knew they most certainly were not.
I spent a good 20 minutes or so taking pictures of what I was certain was a unique find, not knowing at all what type of bird was in front of my lens. When I got home I downloaded the pictures and posted to a birder group asking for more information and I was informed that they were Guinea Fowl, a bird originally from Africa.
I soon learned that these actually are not uncommon having first come to the New World with European settlers and are oftentimes kept by farmers and ranchers today. They serve a number of useful functions including eating ticks and other harmful insects, can catch snakes and rodents and are apparently very noisy when predators approach thus providing a deterrent and alarm system. Go figure!
Most likely this pair was from one of the farms in the area where I spotted them so this ‘wildlife’ is probably actually domesticated.