Birds Encyclopedia

Redstart

Redstart — Redstarts are a group of small Old World birds. They were formerly classified in the thrush family (Turdidae), but are now known to be part of the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae. They are currently treated in four genera, the true redstarts Phoenicurus, the closely related genera Chaimarrornis and Rhyacornis, and the less closely related genus Hodgsonius. These …

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Quail

Quail — Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds in the pheasant family Phasianidae, or in the family Odontophoridae. The New World quails are not closely related, but are named for their similar appearance and behaviour. The Old World buttonquails are also in a different family Turnicidae, and are not true quails. The quails are small, …

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Ptarmigan

Ptarmigan — The Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) is a medium-sized gamebird in the grouse family. It is known simply as Ptarmigan in Europe and colloquially as Snow Chicken or Partridge in North America, where it is the official bird for the territory of Nunavut, Canada, and the official game bird for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The Rock …

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Pigeon

Pigeon — Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near passerines. In general terms “dove” and “pigeon” are used somewhat interchangeably. In ornithological practice, there is a tendency for “dove” to be used for smaller species and “pigeon” for larger ones, but this is in no way consistently applied, …

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Pheasant

Pheasant — Pheasants refer to some members of the Phasianinae (Horsfield, 1821) subfamily of Phasianidae in the order Galliformes. Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. Males are usually larger than females and have longer tails. Males play no part in rearing the young. Pheasants …

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Penguin

Penguin — Penguins (order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae) are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have become flippers. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid, and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. …

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Pelican

Pelican — A pelican, is a large water bird with a large throat pouch, belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae. Along with the darters, cormorants, gannets, boobies, frigatebirds, and tropicbirds, pelicans make up the order Pelecaniformes. Modern pelicans, of which there are eight species, are found on all continents except Antarctica. They primarily inhabit warm regions, though breeding ranges reach …

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Peacock

Peacock — Peafowl are two asiatic species of flying birds in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae, best known for the male’s extravagant eye-spotted tail, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, and the offspring peachicks. The adult female peafowl is grey and/or brown. Peachicks can be between …

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Partridge

Partridge — Partridges are birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. They are a non-migratory Old World group. These are medium-sized birds, intermediate between the larger pheasants and the smaller quails. Partridges are native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Partridges are ground-nesting seed-eaters. According to Greek legend, the first partridge appeared when Daedalus threw his nephew, Perdix, off …

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Parrot

Parrot — Parrots, also known as psittacines are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most tropical and subtropical regions. The order is subdivided into three families: the Psittacidae (’true’ parrots), the Cacatuidae (cockatoos) and the Strigopidae (New Zealand parrots). Parrots have a generally pantropical distribution with several species inhabiting …

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