GALLIFORMES of Europe

Galliformes are heavy-bodied ground-feeding domestic or game birds. Most are plump-bodied with thick necks and moderately long legs, and have rounded and rather short wings. They do not fly well if at all, but walk and run instead for transportation. These birds vary greatly in size from 12-120 cm. Many adult males have one to several sharp horny spurs on the back of each leg, which they use for fighting. They can be found worldwide and in a variety of habitats, including forests, deserts, and meadows. Male courtship behavior includes elaborate visual displays of plumage. Gallinaceous birds feed on a variety of plant and animal material, which may include fruits, seeds, leaves, shoots, flowers, tubers, roots, insects, snails, worms, lizards, snakes, small rodents, and eggs.

Some of the Gallifrom families:
Cracidae: chachalac, curassow, guan.  Numididae : Guineafowl   Odontophoridae : New World Quail
Phasianidae: francolin, grouse, partridge, pheasant, Old World quail.



Grouse

Order Galliformes    Family Phasianidae   

Grouse inhabit temperate and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere. They are heavily built like other Galliformes and range from 31-95 cm. Their legs are feathered to the toes, and in winter the toes too have feathers or small scales on the sides, an adaptation for walking on snow and burrowing into it for shelter. Unlike other Galliformes, they have no spurs. All grouse spend most of their time on the ground, though when alarmed, they may take off in a flurry and go into a long glide. These birds feed mainly on vegetation—buds, catkins, leaves, and twigs. Several of the forest-living species are notable for eating large quantities of conifer needles, which most other vertebrates refuse.


Genus Tetrao

Grouse, Black  Tetrao tetrix   Found: Europe, Asia
The male Black Grouse has black plumage; red wattles; white wing-bar.
Image by: 1, 3) Steve Garvie - Scotland  2) Jniemenmaa
1) Female  2) Male


Capercaillie, Eurasian  also Wood Grouse  Tetrao urogallus   Found: Europe, Asia
The Eurasian Capercaillie is the largest member of the grouse family.
Similar to: Black-billed Capecaillie. The Eurasian Capercaillie is slightly larger, has a longer bill, and has a longer tail than the Black-billed Capercaillie. Their ranges do not overlap.
Image by: 1) Honza Sterba  2)) Woodwalker 3) David Palmer - Germany  4) Richard Bartz
1) Female  2, 3, 4) Male



Genus Tetrastes

Grouse,_Hazel  Tetrastes bonasia also Bonasa bonasia   Found: Europe, Asia
The Hazel Grouse has gray upperparts; brown wings; chestnut flecked white underparts. Male has short erectile crest; white bordered black throat. Female has shorter crest and lacks black on throat.
Image by: 1) John_Gould  2, 3) Tatiana_Bulyonkova  4) Sergey_Yeliseev




PTARMIGAN

Family Phasianidae

Ptarmigans belong to genus  Lagopus. There are three species: the rock, white-tailed, and willow ptarmigans. The red ptarmigan was once considered a seperate species, but now is considered a subspecies of the willow ptarmigan. All of the species are circumpolar. Part or all of their plumage becomes white in the snow season to provide camouflage. As with game birds in general, most of the care of the young is done by the females.


Genus Lagopus

Ptarmigan, Rock  Lagopus muta Found: northern North America, Europe, Asia
The summer Rock Ptarmigan has gray and brown plumage; winter bird has white plumage with black tail.
Similar to Willow Ptarmigan. Willow Ptarmigan is not found above tree line; Rock Ptarmigan found on rocky mountainsides and in tundra. Willow Ptarmigan is slightly larger and has a thicker bill.  Willow Ptarigan has browner summer plumage than Rock Ptarmigan.
Image by: 1) Jan Frode Haugseth - Norway  2, 3) Alpsdake
1) Spring plumage, female in front  2) Female  3) Male


Ptarmigan, Willow  also Willow Grouse Lagopus lagopus   Found: northern North America, Europe, Asia
The summer male Willow Ptarmigan has marbled brown plumage with reddish hue to back and breast; black tail; white underparts, wings, eye-ring; inconspicuous wattle over the eye. Summer female similar; lacks wattles; some brown feathers on its mainly white belly. Both sexes are white in the winter with black tail.
Similar to Rock Ptarmigan. Willow Ptarmigan is not found above tree line; Rock Ptarmigan found on rocky mountainsides and in tundra. Willow Ptarmigan is slightly larger and has a thicker bill.  Willow Ptarigan has browner summer plumage than Rock Ptarmigan.
Image by: 1) Derek Ramsey 2) Joe Dsliva  3) Dick Daniels - Denali National Park  4) Travis S - Denali
4) Male


Grouse, Red  also Red Ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus scoticus    Found: Great Britain
Once considered a separate species, now a subspecies of the willow grouse.
Image by:  1) Dick Daniels - Scotland   2) Andrew - England





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