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Migratory Quail
With the widely known Migratory Quail (Coturnix coturnix) we must close our account of this interesting group, although nearly every member is really worthy of extended mention.
The Pheasants, Fowls, And Peacocks
The Pheasants as here restricted comprise over twenty genera and upwards of one hundred species of for the most part large and elegantly plumaged birds.
The Blood Pheasants
(Ithaginis) are much larger, attaining a length of from fifteen to nearly eighteen inches, the three known species being confined to Tibet and western China.
The Horned Pheasants, Or Tragopans
(Tragopan), often misnamed Argus Pheasants, are large and magnificent birds, perhaps unsurpassed by any other members of the group in the beauty and perfect harmony of coloration.
Of about the same size but even more gorgeous in plumage are the splendid Moonals (Lophophorus)...
Fire-backed Pheasants
The next small group to be considered comprises the Fire-backed Pheasants, which are so named from the fact that the lower back in most is a fiery bronze-red or bronze-gold.
Wattled Pheasants
Certainly one of the most striking members of the whole group is Bulwer's Wattled Pheasant (Lobiophasis bulweri) of the mountain forests of Sarawak, northern Borneo...
Eared Pheasants
In the higher ranges of central and eastern Asia occur the Eared Pheasants (Crossoptilon), the five species of which are large birds between thirty-six and forty inches long...
Kalij Pheasants
Inhabiting the Himalayas and the Indo-Chinese countries, but at much lower elevations than the last, is a large genus...
Cheer Pheasant
Also inhabiting the Himalayas, from Nepal to Chamba, is the Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichi), which is the only representative of its genus.
True Pheasants
We have now come to a consideration of the true Pheasants, which are comprised in three genera and upward of thirty species...
Barred-backed Pheasants
Closely allied to the true Pheasants, and indeed formerly included with them, are three species known as the Barred-backed Pheasants (Calophasis)...
Golden And Lady Amherst's Pheasants
Beyond question the most gorgeously plumaged members of the entire group are the Golden and Lady Amherst's Pheasants...
With the so-called Peacock-Pheasants (Polyplectron) we enter upon a very different type, which in a way connects the last with the Argus and other Pheasants.
Argus Pheasants
Although, according to classical mythology, Juno is said to have transferred the eyes of Argus, after his death, to the tail of her favorite bird...
Pea Fowls
The final genus to be noticed embraces the splendid Pea Fowls (Pavo)...
The Burmese Pea Fowl
(P. muticus), which ranges from Burma through the Malay Peninsula to Java, is slightly larger than the last, the full-plumaged male being over eighty-two inches in length as against a maximum of seventy-eight in the common form.
The Hoactzin
Among living birds it is rare indeed to find within the limits of a single species a combination of characters which entitles it at once to generic, family, and sub-ordinal rank, but such is the distinction of that most curious of birds...
Crane-like Birds
TECHNICALLY speaking, the Crane-like birds, to go no further afield, may be said to possess, in common with the Galliformes on one side and the Charadriiformes on the other...
The Rails, Gallinules, And Coots
The members of this family form a relatively compact group of small or medium-sized wading or swimming birds, distinguished among other characters by the extreme narrowness or compression of the body.
True Rails
The true Rails may be typified by the genus Rallus, which, according to Sharpe, includes some twenty-one forms, all but five of which are natives of the New World.
Quite closely allied to the last and having the same stout bill, but a much shorter middle toe, is the Corncrake, - or Land Rail (Crex crex), of Europe and central Asia, which occurs somewhat regularly in Greenland and occasionally in eastern North America.
Pygmy Rails
Not far separated from the last are the pretty little Pygmy Rails (Corethrura) of Africa and Madagascar, of which nine species are recognized.
The Gallinules and Coots, as already pointed out, are sometimes referred to separate subfamilies, and again to a single subfamily.
Closely allied to the last is the Moor-hen, or Water-hen (G. chloropus), of the Old World, being, however, slightly smaller and with the frontal shield truncated instead of pointed at the back.
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