Gallinaceous birds

   Gallinaceous birds is a name given to members of the order Gallinae. Members of this order are chicken-like in appearance and live on the ground.
   The bill is stout, short, and arched; the head is small and the body heavy; the wings are short and rounded
but are adapted for relatively sustained and swift flight; the legs are heavy and long in proportion to
the body; the front toes are webbed and the hind toe is raised. Most members of the group are polygamous
in habit. The nests are built on the ground but the birds are protected by the almost perfect blending of
the feather colors with the background. The eggs are numerous and usually large. Food consists of insects,
grain, berries, and nuts. Although the group has a world-wide distribution and many species, only four families are found in the United States and Canada.
   These families are the Ondontophondae, bobwhites and quails; the Tetraonidae, grouse and ptarmigans; Meleagridae, turkeys; and the Phasiamdae, pheasants of European and Asiatic origin. Megapodidae, the mound-building birds of the Pacific; Opistkocomidae, the curious primitive hoactzin ; Numididae, guinea fowls; and Phasianidae, peacocks, are other representatives of the order.