Among landfowl (Galliformes) are mound-builders, curassows, guans, chachalacas, guineafowl, new and old world quails, grouse, turkeys, and peafowl.
Sometimes known as game birds, they vary in size. Typically, they are stout with short thick bills tailored for eating seeds or other plant materials; sometimes, insects and worms are eaten.
Generally resident, some of the smaller temperate species, such as quail, do migrate. Typically, they show distinct differences between the sexes in size or appearance.
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Galliformes Birds Species
Indigenous to Australia, Emus are similar to the Ostrich (African,) as they are big flightless birds that lack a breastplate keel to which the breast or flight muscles attach. In Australia, these birds have been deemed a nuisance.
They damaged crops and competed with livestock. In the early 1900s bounties, fences to prevent migration, and restricted commercial farming was imposed.
Since the 1980s, US Emus contribute greatly to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, leather goods, eggshell decorations, and meat.
This African bird is found primarily in dense bush and woodland across Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, western Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, and NE South Africa.
The Black Francolin (thought to originate from the Indian subspecies) is more common in North America.
Francolins congregate in pairs or small groups on bare ground preferring to flee from danger on the ground. In captivity, some do well while others do not, partly because so little is known about them.
The Portuguese, sailors found Guineas along with African briars and introduced this fowl to Europe.
This chicken-sized, noisy, skittish bird is difficult to handle but is a lean meat source, rich in essential fatty acids.
Wild helmeted and vulturine guineas have red eyes and a hackle of long, black and white striped feathers with “polka dots” covering a bright blue breast.
Guineas are opportunistic feeders. The vulturine can live without drinking water deriving liquids from their foods.
Before ancient cultures used their feathers as a statement of nobility and fashion, the ostriches existed millions of years ago in southern Eurasia.
Today, they are native to South Africa. Their 100-year successful product exports to the fashion industry led to commercial ostrich farms elsewhere but switched from fashion to such products as leather, eggshell ornaments, containers, and meat similar to beef but lower in fat, calories, and sodium than beef, emu, chicken, or turkey.
The Partridge is a non-migratory bird in the pheasant family. These birds nest on the ground and feed on seeds. Partridge meat is delicious; so many species of these birds are hunted for game and for sport.
Since ancient civilizations, peacocks, native to Asia and Malaysia, are kept for table delicacy and ornamental plumage.
Two naturally occurring species are the Indian and the Green. Indian Blue subspecies are more commonly bred, especially in the US, because the Greens are less adaptive to cold.
When considering Peafowl to breed, they require spacious shelter especially fall/winter coverage and grains to eat. They are exceptionally beautiful social birds that do not stray far from home.
Pheasants are polygamous birds that do not ordinarily congregate except in a prime feeding field or wintering area.
49 species have been identified and all but one originates from Asia. Some look like a quail or partridge, however, most have common traits.
Males are prominently different in color possessing a more iridescent plumage than hens and they have facial combs or wattles, well-developed spurs, and very long tails. All of which help them attract mates and defend territories.
The Quail is a small terrestrial bird in the pheasant family. Some species of Quails can fly for long distances, but most species are only capable of short bursts of flight. Quails are hunted for game and farmed in large numbers for eggs.
Red Golden Pheasant
Appealing to the eye, the red golden pheasant comes from Central China. The males are more colorful to attract females during courtship and to draw predators from the nesting hen.
Courtship is a year-round behavior that consists of the male circling the female, stopping, spreading, and displaying his cape and tail, standing on his toes, and hissing.
The female-only accepts the male during spring and early summer and becomes the caregiver.
Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is the most popular bird in America. Domestic turkeys are twice the size of wild turkeys, and they are also very different in appearance.
Wild turkeys reside in woods, where they feed on berries, seeds, acorns, and insects. They are the largest and the most beautiful game birds in North America, and they exhibit incredibly interesting courtship behavior. Males use their fancy tails to attract females.
Wild Turkeys are much smaller than domestic turkeys, but they feature a gorgeous appearance.
Their heads are bare, and there are characteristic skinny growths over the beak (snood) and under the chin (wattle.)
The head and these growths can change color as a bird’s mood changes, which usually happens during courtship or in extreme situations. Male turkeys use their wonderful peacock-like tails to attract females. Clutches may count 18 eggs.