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Fowls and Pheasants: Phasianidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Regardless of species, the daily routine of these birds is basically the same. They roost (rest) in trees during the night and descend at dawn for some serious feeding time. After eating for a few hours, they head for cover. The end of the day brings about another feeding frenzy, after which birds call to one another as they prepare to roost for the night.

Because these birds are largely land dwellers, most species don't migrate (travel seasonally from one region to another) much. Species that live in the open grasslands are more social than their forest cousins, possibly to defend themselves against predators. Those social species can be found in flocks of twenty to one hundred individual birds.

Nests are shallow scrapes in the ground, lined with little vegetation and hidden by grasses or rocks. Clutch sizes can be as high as twenty eggs or as few as one. Incubation (keeping warm until hatching) is done by the female, and chicks leave the nest as soon as they hatch. First flight is taken in seven to ten days. Females are ready to mate at one year of age, but males tend to wait until their full adult colors have developed, usually in their second season.

Predators include foxes, ravens, badgers, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, hawks, owls, cats, dogs, and other medium-sized meat-eaters.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsFowls and Pheasants: Phasianidae - Behavior And Reproduction, Fowls And Pheasants And People, Wild Turkey (meleagris Gallopavo): Species Accounts - PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS