Fiji Birds: Pheasants, Grouse & Allies

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Red Junglefowl Cock scaled

Pheasants, Grouse & Allies – Fiji hosts a variety of introduced bird species, including the Brown Quail, Red Junglefowl, and Wild Turkey. The Brown Quail, originally from Australia and Tasmania, now thrives in Fiji’s swampy areas with its reddish-brown plumage and distinctive whistle. Red Junglefowl, native to Southeast Asia, inhabit Fiji’s forests and announce their presence with territorial crowing. The Wild Turkey, native to North America, has also been successfully introduced to Fiji’s islands, contributing to the island nation’s biodiversity.

Table of Contents

Fun Fact 1: Pheasants, Grouse, and their allies are masters of camouflage. They have a remarkable ability to blend into their forest habitat so effectively that they can be incredibly difficult to spot, even when you’re looking right at them! This camouflage helps them evade predators and quietly go about their business in their natural environment.

brown-quail standing on rock of-sandstone in FIjiRed JunglefowlWild Turkey
BROWN QUAILRED JUNGLEFOWLWILD TURKEY
Table: Pheasants, Grouse & Allies in Fiji

Name: Brown Quail

brown-quail standing on rock of-sandstone in FIjiCommon Name: Brown Quail
Scientific Name: Synoicus ypsilophorus
Table: General details. Image Supplied: Wright, Duncan. (2007).

Synopsis: Brown Quail

The brown quail, also known as the swamp quail or Tasmanian quail, is a small, ground-dwelling bird native to mainland Australia, Tasmania, and Papua New Guinea, with introductions to New Zealand and Fiji. It measures between 17 to 22 centimeters in length and weighs 75 to 140 grams.

The male displays a reddish-brown coloration speckled with black on the head and upper neck, transitioning to a mainly reddish-brown hue on the back and wings. Its underparts vary from buff or rufous to brown, adorned with fine black chevron-shaped barring. The female is similar but generally paler, with distinctive dark chevron-shaped markings on its upperparts and small black spots on the shoulder. This plump and stocky bird prefers swampy areas with tall grass where it scurries in small groups and often startles observers with a distinctive 2-note whistle, revealing its presence. Recorded Sightings: Viti Levu – Vanua Levu

Fun Fact 2: Brown Quail are known for their intricate courtship rituals. During mating season, males perform a dance-like display where they bob and weave their bodies while making soft calls to attract females. This behavior helps establish dominance and secure a mate.

Video: Brown Quail

Audio: Brown Quail

Name: Red Junglefowl

Red JunglefowlCommon Name: Red Junglefowl
Scientific Name: Gallus gallus
Table: General details. Image Supplied: Unknown.

Synopsis: Red Junglefowl

Jungle Fowl inhabit mature forest, scrub and thick reed breaks, but their favoured habitat is disturbed secondary forest where they feed on any fruits, insects or seeds and grains. Jungle Fowl are normally shy birds, however, the cocks are strongly territorial and advertise their territories with their characteristic crowing call which resound through the forests in areas where they occur and are the surest indication of their presence. Type: Introduced – Extirpated, Diet: Fruits, insects or seeds and grains, Size: 70 centimetres (28 inch’s). Recorded Sightings: Viti Levu – Vanua Levu – Taveuni – Kadavu – Lomaiviti – Lau – Rotuma

Fun Fact 3: Red Junglefowl are highly adaptable birds found in a variety of habitats from dense forests to open grasslands. They are excellent flyers and can roost in trees overnight, using their strong wings to escape predators and explore different areas for food.

Video: Red Junglefowl

Audio: Red Junglefowl

Fijian Commemorative Postage Stamp


Red Junglefowl - Hen-and-Rooster Junglefowl of Fiji Commemorative Stamps.
Image: Hen-and-Rooster Junglefowl of Fiji Commemorative stamps.

Name: Wild Turkey

Wild TurkeyCommon Name: Wild Turkey
Scientific Name: Meleagris gallopavo
Table: General details. Image Supplied: Mohann. (2021).

Synopsis: Wild Turkey

The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is an upland game bird native to North America, and introduced to Fiji. Type: Introduced. Recorded Sightings: Viti Levu – Vanua Levu – Taveuni – Kadavu – Lomaiviti – Lau – Rotuma

Fun Fact 4: Wild Turkeys are surprisingly agile flyers despite their size. They can burst into flight swiftly and quietly when startled, using their powerful wings to navigate through dense forests or quickly gain altitude to escape danger. This ability helps them survive in their woodland habitats where they can roost safely away from ground-based predators.

Video: Wild Turkey

Audio: Wild Turkey

Related Articles

Pheasants, Grouse & AlliesSwallowsPlovers and Lapwings
Grass birds and AlliesDucks, Geese and WaterfowlRails, Gallinules and Coots
Herons, Egrets & BitternsIbises & SpoonbillsKingfishers
Cuckoo ShrikesMonarch FlycatchersFantails
Australasian RobinsThrushes and AlliesStarlings
Whistlers and alliesWoodswallows, BellmagpiesWaxbills and allies
Barn OwlsBush Warblers and AlliesOld World Sparrows
Hawks – EaglesCuckoosFrogmouth
FalconsOld World ParrotsHoneyeaters
BulbulsWhite EyesSandpipers and Allies
Skuas and JaegersFrigatebirdsNorthern storm-petrels
AlbatrossesPelicansSouthern Storm Petrels
TropicbirdsBoobies and GannetsShearwaters and petrels
Gulls, Terns and SkimmersPigeons and DovesSwifts
Table: Bird Groups of Fiji.

References

  • Brown quail. (2023, August 6). In Wikipedia. Link
  • Hans (2012). Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, Wild turkey [Photograph]. Pixabay. Link
  • Hans (2012). Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, Wild turkey [Photograph]. Pixabay. Link
  • IUCN (2016). Brown Quail Synoicus ypsilophorus [Photograph]. IUCN Redlist. Link
  • IUCN (2018). Wild Turkey [Photograph]. IUCN Redlist. Link
  • Dendoktoor (2023). Chicken, Rooster, Brown-black plumage [Photograph]. Pixelbay. Link
  • Dendoktoor (2023). Chicken, Rooster, Close-up image [Photograph]. Pixelbay. Link
  • ICUN (2016). Gallus gallus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [Photograph]. ICUN. Link
  • [Jack Morgan]. (2022, January 6). Brown Quail Synoicus ypsilophorus [Audio]. Macaulay Library. Link
  • [James (Jim) Holmes]. (2017, November 2). Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo [Audio]. Macaulay Library. Link
  • [Josep del Hoyo]. (2013, February 17). Brown Quail Synoicus ypsilophorus [Video]. Macaulay Library. Link
  • [Macaulay Library]. (2015, March 14). Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus [Audio]. Macaulaylibrary.org. Link
  • [Macaulay Library]. (2015, December 4). Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus [Video]. Macaulaylibrary.org. Link
  • Mohann (2021). Wild Turkey Meleagris gallop
  • Pradipd123 (2022). Junglefowl, Chicken, Rooster [Photograph]. Pixelbay. Link
  • [Tim Laman]. (2009, March 13). Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo [Video]. Macaulay Library. Link
  • Wild turkey. (2023, August 22). In Wikipedia. Link
  • Wright, Duncan. 2007. “The Brown Quail.” Photograph. Accessed June 24, 2024. Wikipedia. Link

Additional Sources of Information

  • NatureFiji-MareqetiViti is Fiji’s only domestic NGO working solely for the conservation and sustainable management of Fiji’s unique natural heritage – Link