But many members of the order Galliformes are anything but ordinary barnyard birds. Gloriously colored peahens, vibrant pheasants, fancy-feathered quail, and many other species are visual standouts in any forest or field. In many cases, male game birds compete for females by showing off their bright hues, fleshy wattles, knobby head combs, and more. Finding mates is such serious business that such adornments usually serve no other practical purpose, like the male Indian peacock’s striking eyespots.
Many of these spectacular birds, found on every continent except Antarctica, are
hunted for meat while their home territories are fractured and shrinking due to human development. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, more than 25 percent of the