The pheasants belong to Phasianidae, a family of terrestrial birds. Pheasant family includes quails, partridges, chicken, francolins, spurfowl, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls.
DescriptionAmong pheasants there are 156 known species of which 46 species exist in India. These birds are distributed among several genera. Usually pheasants are stocky and plump in appearance, though there is a big range in sizes of the individual genera.
There is sexual dimorphism in Phasianidae birds and males are larger than the females. In many Phasianidae birds, Males have brightly colored plumage and have elongated tail streamers. Males often have facial ornamentation like crests and wattles.
Phasianidae birds have relatively short wings and short strong legs. Many of these birds have spur in their legs. Their bills are short and strong.
Phasianidae is a Old World family and the species are distributed all over Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Their feeding habits vary, some preferring only plant matter whereas many bird species feed on insects, reptiles and small mammals. The chicks of these birds feed on insects.
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Current topic in Birds of India: List of Indian pheasants (Phasianidae) with pictures.