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Fowls and Pheasants: Phasianidae

Behavior And Reproduction, Fowls And Pheasants And People, Wild Turkey (meleagris Gallopavo): Species AccountsPHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS

WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
WILLOW PTARMIGAN (Lagopus lagopus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
SATYR TRAGOPAN (Tragopan satyra): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Fowls and pheasants measure 6 to 48 inches (15 to 125 centimeters) and weigh 1.5 to 24.2 pounds (0.7 to 11 kilograms). All species have a heavy, round body. Legs and neck are short, head and tail are small (except in a few long-tailed species), and facial ornamentation varies. Coloration of skin and plumage (feathers) also varies, but males are almost always the more colorful sex.


Fowls and pheasants are found throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australasia.


Habitats vary widely for these birds. Some live in mountain regions, others in subtropical forests and rainforests. Still others prefer the grasslands.


Fowls and pheasants eat vegetation, buds, pine needles, roots, bulbs, seeds, fruits, invertebrates (animals without backbones) such as ants and termites, and berries. Baby snowcocks eat legumes (peas, beans, and lentils).


Seventy-three species (41 percent of all species) are included on the 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirds