24 Birds That Look Like Chickens

Birds That Look Like Chickens

Do you ever look at a bird and think, “that looks like a chicken”? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, there are quite a few birds that bear a striking resemblance to our favorite farm animal. In today’s article, we’ll learn about 24 such birds that could easily pass for chickens!

From common Wild Turkey to the bizarre Copper Pheasant, there’s sure to be a bird on this list that you haven’t seen before. So put down that chicken feed and get ready for the list!


Wild Turkey

Everything to Know About Wild Turkeys

Height: 100-125 centimeters (39-49 inches) in males; 76-95 centimeters (30-37 inches) in females
Weight: 5-11 kilograms in males; 2.5-5.4 kilograms in females
Wingspan: 125-144 centimeters (49-56 inches)
Lifespan: Around 3-5 years

The Wild Turkeys are one of the two existing turkey species, with Ocellated Turkeys being the other one. These birds are not only native to North America, but also are one of the largest birds on the continent.

Adult Wild Turkeys display heavy sexual dimorphism both in size and plumage. The males have red heads, throats, and wattles. Their feathers are covered in green, purple, red, bronze, gold, and copper glossy highlights. They have long, fan-shaped tails with glossy bronze wings that are intricately patterned with black lines and white spots.

Their female counterparts are much smaller in size, and their overall plumage is covered in dull shades of grey and brown. Their tails are also shorter in comparison to the males’. Both sexes have the same reddish-grey legs and feet.

Their resemblance with chickens:

The overall rounded, stocky bodies of chickens (quite common in most ground-dwelling birds) are quite similar to Wild Turkeys. Both bird species have iridescent plumage, and lack feathers on their heads and necks.

Here’s how you can tell these birds apart:

  • Wild Turkeys are significantly larger and heavier than chickens.
  • Chickens have dull, high-arched tails, unlike the long, vibrantly colored, fanned tails of Wild Turkeys.
  • Wild Turkeys lack the fleshy red comb that is placed atop the chickens’ heads.


Rock Ptarmigan

Rock Ptarmigan | Tundra Animals

Scientific name: Lagopus muta
Height: 34-36 centimeters (13-14 inches)
Weight: 440-640 grams
Wingspan: 54-60 centimeters (21-24 inches)
Lifespan: Around 4-11 years

The Rock Ptarmigans are a medium-sized game bird species that inhabit the arctic mountains of Norway, Scotland, Bulgaria, and Japan. They’re also found in isolated populations in the Alps, the Urals, the Pyrenees, and the Pamir Mountains.

Adult Rock Ptarmigans display significant sexual dimorphism in their breeding plumage. The non-breeding males and females have stark white plumage with black-tipped tail feathers. Their eyes are covered with a single black stripe, and they have red combs above their eyes.

During the summers, males molt their feathers, and the replacing plumage is dark grey on the upper parts and light greyish-white on the belly and rump. Both sexes have black bills and eyes, and their legs and feet are covered with white feathers irrespective of the season.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Rock Ptarmigans and Chickens have similar round, stocky bodies, and bone structures. Both of them have caruncles on their faces, and their legs are short and strong.

Here’s how you can tell these birds apart:

  • Rock Ptarmigans have whitish-grey and black plumages, whereas chickens have colorful, iridescent plumage.
  • The bills in chickens are light yellowish, while the Ptarmigans have darker bills.
  • The high-arched tails of the chickens are absent in Rock Ptarmigans.


California Quail

California Quail - eBird

Scientific name: Callipepla Californica
Height: Around 25 centimeters (9.8 inches)
Weight: 150-190 grams
Wingspan: 35.5 centimeters (14 inches)
Lifespan: 3-5 years

Declared the state bird of California, the California Quails are small ground-dwelling birds that inhabit the open woodlands, valleys with streams, and suburbs along the West Coast of the United States.

The adult California Quails display sexual dimorphism in both plumage and size, with the males being slightly larger than their female counterparts.

Males have brown plumage on their crowns and backs and light brown bellies. They have grey-blue chests with white flanks. Their underparts are mottled with little white, yellow, and dark brown feathers. Their faces, foreheads, and the outward-curving crests on their heads are all black.

Their female counterparts, on the other hand, have overall greyish-brown plumage with lightly rufous bellies. Their flanks and underparts are also spotted with white, yellow, and brown. The outward-curving crests on their heads are brown and smaller than the males’.

Both sexes have the same black eyes and dark legs and feet.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Chickens and California Quails have the same round, stocky body structures, and short but strong feet. Here’s how you can tell these two birds apart:

  • California Quails are both smaller and more lightweight than chickens.
  • Chickens have crests made of caruncles, whereas the crests on California Quails are made up of feathers.
  • Chickens have high-arched tails, quite unlike the flat tails of the Quails.


Copper Pheasant

Copper Pheasant - eBird

Scientific name: Syrmaticus soemmerringii
Height: 87-136 centimeters (34.5-54 inches) in males; 51-54 centimeters (20-21 inches) in females
Weight: 942-1348 grams in males; 745-1000 in females
Lifespan: Around 7 years

Named after the German scientist Samuel Thomas Van Sommerring, the Copper’s Pheasants are endemic to Japan. They inhabit the hills and mountain forests on the islands of Japan.

Adult Copper Pheasants display sexual dimorphism in both size and plumage, with the males being larger, heavier, and more colorful than their female counterparts.

Males have dark brown, chestnut plumage all over their body except their face, which is red in color. Their eyes are encircled with two caruncles. There are white and black markings on their plumage, starting at their throats and going down to their tails, creating an intricate pattern.

The females of the species have drab brown and grey plumage, with similar patterns of black and white from below their throats to the tip of their tails. Both sexes have the same brown eyes, greyish feet, and considerably long tails.

Their resemblance with chickens:

The round and stocky bodies of Copper Pheasants are the same as the chickens’. Both of these birds also have caruncles on their faces and strong legs. Here’s how you can tell these two birds apart:

  • Copper Pheasants are much larger and heavier than chickens.
  • Chickens have iridescent plumage, while the Pheasant’s plumage, although colorful, is not iridescent.
  • These Pheasants lack the bright, red comb that sits atop the chickens’ heads.


Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked Pheasant - eBird

Scientific name: Phasianus colchicus
Height: 60-89 centimeters (23-35 inches) in males; 50-63 centimeters (19-25 inches) in females
Weight: 500 grams – 3 kilograms
Wingspan: 56-86 centimeters (22-34 inches)
Lifespan: around 3 years

More popularly known as Common Pheasants, the Ring-necked Pheasants are a large pheasant species endemic to Asia and some parts of Europe. Although these birds have entered the United States as an introduced species, they’re still the state bird of South Dakota.

Adult Ring-necked Pheasants display a strong sexual dimorphism in their size and plumage. The males of this species show a lot of variation in their plumage color, ranging from almost white to nearly black. However, their heads and throats are uniformly iridescent green, with a bold white ring around their neck that lends them their name.

Male Ring-necked Pheasants also possess red caruncles around their eyes and a small green crest. On the other hand, their female counterparts have a dull brown mottled plumage all over their bodies.

They also lack the bright face coloration, caruncles, and crests that the males sport. The last but most important difference between the sexes is their tail length. The tails of males are roughly 20 inches long, whereas females’ tails don’t exceed the length of 8 inches.

Their resemblance with chickens:

With their large, rounded bodies, short legs, facial caruncles, and iridescent plumage, the Ring-necked Pheasants resemble chickens closely in many ways. Both their length and body mass are more or less the same, too.

Here’s how you can tell these ground-dwellers apart:

  • Ring-necked Pheasants possess long, wavy tails, while the tails of chickens are highly arched.
  • In place of chickens’ fleshy comb, Ring-necked Pheasants possess a dark green crest.


Black Grouse

Black Grouse - eBird

Scientific name: Lyrurus tetrix
Height: Around 60 centimeters (24 inches)
Weight: 1.1 kilograms
Wingspan: 65-80 centimeters
Lifespan: Around 5 years

Also called Blackcock, the Black Grouses are one of the two existing species in their genus, the other one being the Caucasian Grouse. You can find them in Pennines, Scotland, and the upland area of Wales.

Black Grouses display sexual dimorphism in plumage as well as size, with the males being larger and heavier than their female counterparts.

The males’ upper parts and bellies are predominantly covered in a deep iridescent blue and black. They have bright red caruncles on top of each of their eyes and wisps of small, deep-blue feathers right under their chin.

Their lower rumps are almost entirely black, in contrast with the stark white feathers in their tails, which are often fanned out.

The females of the species have comparatively drabber, greyish-brown plumage with black spots all over their bodies. They also have white streaks at the base of their tails. Both sexes have the same brownish-black eyes, legs, and feet.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Black Grouses are quite similar to chickens, with caruncles on their faces and short but strong feet. Their bodies have more or less the same structure as well. Here’s how you can tell these two birds apart:

  • Black Grouses lack the red comb present at the top of chickens’ heads.
  • Chickens have bright red, orange, and brown plumage, while these grouses are covered in a deep blue and black hue.
  • The tails on Black Grouses have white feathers, which are absent in chickens.


Blue-eared Pheasant

Blue Eared-Pheasant - eBird

Scientific name: Crossoptilon auritum
Height: 96 centimeters (38 inches)
Weight: 1.4-2 kilograms
Lifespan: around 12-15 years

Found in the mountain forests of Central China, the Blue-eared Pheasants are the most abundant members of the eared pheasant genus. These pheasants display sexual dimorphism in size, with the males being the larger sex.

Blue-eared Pheasants have dark blue heads, red caruncles around eyes, and white ear coverts. The rest of their body is covered in a lighter shade of blue, with darker tail feathers and white undertail.

Their resemblance with chickens:

While both Blue-eared Pheasants and chickens have red faces and rounded, stocky bodies, there’s little else in common between them. These Pheasants are considerably larger in size than the chickens. They also possess a fairly darker plumage than the latter.


Crestless Fireback

Crestless Fireback - eBird

Scientific name: Lophura erythrophthalma
Height: 38 centimeters (15 inches)
Lifespan: around 2-4 years

The Crestless Firebacks are a vulnerable ground bird species found in the moist lowland forests of Southeast Asia.

The adult Crestless Firebacks display a strong sexual dimorphism in both their size and plumage. The males are larger than their female counterparts and sport a bare face with caruncles around their eyes, greenish bills, and iridescent purplish-black plumage. Their legs are bluish grey, with a bright chestnut rump.

The females of this species have pale brown faces and whitish throats, while the rest of their plumage is completely black with green and blue iridescence in some areas. Both sexes have spurs on their legs, with the males’ spurs being longer.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Crestless Firebacks have glossy plumage, stocky bodies, and short legs, which are the only physical traits they share with the chickens. Here’s how you can differentiate between these birds:

  • Chickens are almost double the size of Crestless Firebacks.
  • They possess a red comb atop their head, whereas the latter are, as their name indicates, crestless.
  • Chickens have a highly arched tail, unlike the short, rounded tail of the Crestless Firebacks.


Spruce Grouse

Spruce Grouse - eBird

Scientific name: Canachites canadensis
Height: 38-43 centimeters (15-17 inches)
Weight: 550-650 grams in males; 450-550 grams in females
Wingspan: 54-57 centimeters (21-22 inches)
Lifespan: around 5-6 years

Found in the boreal forests of North America, the Spruce Grouses are a medium-sized grouse species popular by other names, like Spruce Hen and Canada Grouse. They stand out among the other grouse because of their silent nature and highly arboreal tendencies.

Adult Spruce Grouses are highly sexually dimorphic both in their size and plumage. Males possess a heavily mottled black plumage, while females are mottled brown. They also have fan-shaped tails and red eyebrow patches that are absent in their female counterparts.

Their resemblance with chickens:

The small heads, stubby bodies, and short legs of Spruce Grouses lend them a chicken-like appearance. However, there are many differences between their appearances as well.

The iridescent plumage of chickens is nothing like that of these grouses. Chickens also possess an arched tail, unlike the fan-shaped tails of the latter.


Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite Life History, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Scientific name: Colinus virginianus
Height: 24-28 centimeters (9-11 inches)
Weight: 170 grams
Wingspan: 33-38 centimeters (13-15 inches)
Lifespan: around 8-12 months

Also referred to as Virginia Quail, the Northern Bobwhites are a near-threatened quail species endemic to Cuba, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. These birds have as many as 23 subspecies, with some of them being endangered as a result of extensive hunting.

Northern Bobwhites are moderate-sized birds with chunky quail-like bodies and short, downward-curving bills. Their plumage is overall brown, with pale, whitish underparts, heavy grey mottling on their wings, and grey tails.

Both sexes appear nearly the same, with some minute differences. The males possess white throats and have black borders above their brows, while in the females, the throats are buff-colored, and eyebrows markings are absent.

Their resemblance with chickens:

The stocky, rounded bodies of Northern Bobwhites slightly resemble that of the chickens, which is the only similarity between the two. Here are the major differences between the appearances of these birds:

  • Chickens are both larger and heavier than Northern Bobwhites.
  • Their vibrant plumage is nothing like that of the latter.
  • Chickens possess a bright red comb on their heads, whereas the bobwhites have bare, round heads.


Elliot’s Pheasant

Elliot's Pheasant - eBird

Scientific name: Cyrmaticus ellioti
Height: 80 centimeters (31 inches) in males; 50 centimeters (20 inches) in females
Weight: 1-1.3 kilograms
Lifespan: around 7-12 years

Named after the American ornithologist, Daniel Elliot, Elliot’s Pheasants are a near-threatened pheasant species found in the evergreen and mountain forests of south-eastern China.

Adult Elliot’s Pheasants display strong sexual dimorphism, with the males being larger and having a white face, belly, and rump. The rest of their bodies are chestnut in color, including their wings and white-banded tails.

The females of this species have rufous bodies with pale, whitish bellies and rumps. Their tails are lightly barred, and they also lack the red-eye combs that the males possess.

Their resemblance with chickens:

The stocky, rounded bodies, vibrant plumage, and fleshy eye combs of Elliot’s Pheasants do resemble that of the chickens. However, the two birds share no other physical trait.

Elliot’s Pheasants have bare heads, unlike the combed heads of chickens. Their tails are also long and straight, whereas the latter possess curving, arched tails.


Scaled Quail

Scaled Quail - eBird

Scientific name: Callipepla squamata
Height: 25-30 centimeters (10-12 inches)
Weight: 150-200 grams
Lifespan: around 1-2 years

The Scaled Quails are medium-sized birds with an abundant population in central Mexico and the southwestern United States. They’re also called Cottontop due to the soft, white crest atop their heads that resembles a cotton tuft.

Adult Scaled Quails display dimorphism in their size and not in plumage; the females are slightly heavier than their male counterparts. Both sexes possess an overall grey plumage with a hairy, white-tipped crest atop their head. Their entire underbody, right from the throat to their rump, is covered in scales, adding scaled in their name.

The upper body of these birds is comparatively plain, with both their wings and short tail being pale grey in color. They have black eyes, while their short, pointy bills and legs are both grey.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Scaled Quails resemble chickens in their short, rounded bodies and strong legs, with no room for any other similarity. Here are some major differences between the two:

  • The pale grey bodies of Scaled Quails stand in stark contrast with the colorful chickens.
  • Scaled Quails are both smaller and weigh lesser than the chickens.
  • They have short, flat tails, unlike the high-arched, flowy tails of the chickens.


Greater Prairie Chicken

Greater Prairie-Chicken - eBird

Scientific name: Tympanuchus cupido
Height: 43 centimeters (16 inches)
Weight: 700 grams – 1.2 kilograms
Wingspan: 69-72 centimeters (27-28 inches)
Lifespan: around 2-3 years

Also referred to as Pinnated Grouse, the Greater Prairie Chickens are a large grouse species found in the tallgrass prairies of North America. These birds possess stocky bodies with short but rounded tails.

While both sexes of this species have the same size and similar, mottled brown plumage, some minor differences set them apart. The males have long brown head feathers, which are shorter in the latter. They also possess yellow eye combs and bold orange neck patches, both of which are missing in the females.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Although Greater Prairie Chickens are smaller in size than the chickens, their body structure closely resembles that of the latter.

However, in place of the chickens’ fleshy comb, these birds possess two horn-like head feathers. They also have brown plumage and orange neck patches, both of which are absent in the chickens.


Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse - eBird

Scientific name: Bonasa umbellus
Height: 40-50 centimeters (16-20 inches)
Weight: 450-750 grams
Wingspan: 50-64 centimeters (20-25 inches)
Lifespan: around 7-8 years

Also called Thunder-chicken, the Ruffed Grouses are a non-migratory gamebird with the widest distribution across North America. Often confused with the Grey Partridges due to similarities in appearance, they’re the national bird of Pennsylvania.

Ruffed Grouses occur in two color morphs: brown and grey. Both morphs possess heavily variegated bodies, with lighter coloration around their throat and chest.

They also possess a striking fan-shaped tail with a bold black band near its border. However, much like their crests, these tails are generally flat and hang low, rarely seen on display. Both sexes of the adults are almost identical, showing no dimorphism in size or plumage.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Ruffed Grouses have roughly the same height and body structure as the chickens, which is why they might appear similar from a distance. Here’s how you can tell these birds apart:

  • Chickens are much heavier than Ruffed Grouses.
  • Their plumage is quite colorful in contrast with the dull grey or brown plumage of the grouses.
  • Unlike the red comb of chickens that stays erect all the time, Ruff Grouses have a feathered crest that generally lies flat on their heads.


Siamese Fireback

Siamese Fireback - eBird

Scientific name: Lophura diardi
Height: 60-80 centimeters (23-31 inches)
Weight: 680 grams – 1.2 kilograms
Lifespan: around 5 years

Also called Diard’s Fireback in honor of the French naturalist Pierre-Medard Diard, the Siamese Firebacks are a large pheasant species endemic to Southeast Asia. You can spot these pheasants in the lowland and evergreen forests of Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, where they’re declared the national bird.

Adult Siamese Firebacks display a strong dimorphism in their plumage. The males have dark blue heads and crests, with red caruncles around their eyes. The rest of their plumage is iridescent grey, with dark blue touches on their rumps and dark tails.

In contrast, the females of the species have an overall dull brown plumage, with dark brown crests and touches of black on their wings and tails.

Their resemblance with chickens:

The rounded, stocky bodies of Siamese Firebacks are similar to that of the chickens. Both these birds are about the same size and possess high-arched tails, with their tail feathers falling downwards as well. Here are some major differences between their appearances:

  • Siamese Firebacks have a feathered crest atop their heads, unlike the fleshy comb of the chickens.
  • Their iridescent plumage lacks the color variation seen in the chickens.
  • Despite the similarity in size, Siamese Firebacks weigh much lesser than the chickens.


Green Pheasant

Green pheasant - Wikipedia

Scientific name: Phasianus versicolor
Height: 60-91 centimeters (24-36 inches) in males; 50-63 centimeters (20-25 inches) in females
Weight: 1.2 kilograms in males; 900 grams in females
Lifespan: around 2-3 years

Endemic to the Japanese archipelago, Green Pheasants are medium-sized, ground-dwelling birds that are also declared the national bird of Japan.

Just like the other pheasants, adult Green Pheasants also display a strong sexual dimorphism, with the males being the larger, heavier, and more vibrant sex.

Male Green Pheasants have dark bluish heads and throats with red wattles around their eyes and cheeks. Their breasts, bellies, rumps, and shoulders are covered in iridescent green, with intricate green and orange patterns on their upper back. Their wings and tails are a dull shade of greyish-brown, with black bands running across the tail.

On the other hand, their female counterparts have pale buff bodies with dark brown mottles scattered all over. Their tails are also slightly shorter than the males. However, both sexes possess yellow eyes, grey bills, and legs.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Both Chickens and Green Pheasants are ground-dwellers with stocky bodies and iridescent plumage. Here’s how you can differentiate between these birds:

  • Green Pheasants are significantly larger than chickens in size, even though they weigh lesser.
  • Green Pheasants lack the comb that chickens possess on their heads.
  • The long, straight tails of Green Pheasants sweep behind them, unlike the chickens, that have rounded, high-arched tails.


Sharp-tailed Grouse

Sharp-tailed Grouse | Audubon Field Guide

Scientific name: Tympanuchus phasianellus
Height: 38-48 centimeters (15-19 inches)
Weight: 596-880 grams
Wingspan: 62-65 centimeters (24-25 inches)
Lifespan: around 7-8 years

Commonly referred to as Sharptail, the Sharp-tailed Grouses are a prairie chicken species endemic to North America. Their short, sharp tails and the V-markings on their underbelly set them apart from the other grouses in their range.

Both sexes of Sharp-tailed Grouses have similar appearances, except for their yellow eye combs, which are more defined in the males. Their upper body is covered in mottled brown plumage, standing in stark contrast with their white bellies and rumps.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Sharp-tailed Grouses resemble chickens due to their small heads, stubby bodies, and short legs. However, they lack any crest or comb on their head, unlike the latter, and have a dull plumage, which sets these birds apart.


Plain Chachalaca

Plain Chachalaca - eBird

Scientific name: Ortalis vetula
Height: 48-58 centimeters (19-23 inches)
Weight: 439-794 grams
Lifespan: around 8 years

Belonging to the family of guans and curassows (Cracidae), the Plain Chachalacas are large ground-dwelling birds commonly found in the Southern regions of North America and Central America.

The adult Plain Chachalacas display little-to-no sexual dimorphism, with the males being generally larger than their female counterparts (but not always). They have small greyish heads, long necks, and an overall dull olive-brown plumage. Their underparts are paler than the upper body, with black tails covered in a greenish sheen.

Their resemblance with chickens:

As ground-dwellers, both Plain Chachalacas and chickens possess stocky, rounded bodies with short legs, which is all they have in common. Here are some major differences in their appearances:

  • Unlike the red combs of chickens, Plain Chachalacas have a bare, round head.
  • Their dull plumage lacks the luster that you find in the chickens’ iridescent plumage.
  • Unlike the high-arched tails of chickens, Plain Chachalacas possess straight tails that hang low from their bodies.


Edward’s Pheasant

Edward's Pheasant

Scientific name: Lophura edwardsi
Height: 58-65 centimeters (23-26 inches)
Weight: 1-1.8 kilograms
Lifespan: around 10 years

Named after the French ornithologist, Alphonse Edward, the Edward’s Pheasants are a critically endangered pheasant species endemic to Vietnam. These birds are found in the rainforests within their range, with deforestation being the main threat to their population.

Adult Edward’s Pheasants are strongly sexually dimorphic, with the males possessing white crowns and vibrant black plumage, coupled with blue necks and wings. On the other hand, their female counterparts have an overall brown body. Both sexes have red caruncles around their eyes.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Edward’s Pheasants resemble the chickens in size, weight, and their caruncled faces. Here’s how you can tell them apart:

  • Edward’s Pheasants lack the red comb that is placed atop chickens’ heads.
  • Their tails are long and hang downwards, whereas chickens’ tails are highly arched.


Blood Pheasant

Blood Pheasant - eBird

Scientific name: Ithaginis cruentus
Height: 38-48 centimeters (14-18 inches)
Weight: 400-700 grams
Lifespan: around 2 years

The Blood Pheasants are a small pheasant species commonly found in the mountains of South Asian countries, including Nepal, China, India, Bhutan, and Myanmar. These birds have been named after their red-stained chest feathers that appear bloody.

The adult Blood Pheasants display dimorphism in their plumage, with the males sporting ash-colored backs, white shafts, red chest feathers, and green-tinged covert wings. Their female counterparts have a uniformly dull brown plumage. Both sexes possess red skin around their eyes and red legs.

Their resemblance with chickens:

The red faces, stout bodies, short legs, and colorful plumages of Blood Pheasants make them resemble chickens.

Here’s how you can tell these birds apart:

  • Blood Pheasants have a feathered crest atop their heads, unlike the fleshy combs of chickens.
  • Their tails are short and straight, whereas chickens have highly arched tails.


Golden Pheasant

Golden Pheasant - eBird

Scientific name: Chrysolophus pictus
Height: 90-105 centimeters (35-41 inches) in males; 60-80 centimeters (24-31 inches) in females
Weight: 550 grams
Wingspan: 70 centimeters (28 inches)
Lifespan: around 5-6 years

Also referred to as Rainbow Pheasant, the Golden Pheasants are a large pheasant species endemic to the mountainous regions of China. Despite their nativity, the feral population of these birds is found in many non-Asian countries, including the United States, Canada, Belgium, Bolivia, France, and Australia.

Adult Golden Pheasants are highly sexually dimorphic birds, with both sexes varying greatly in size and plumage. The males, being the larger sex, have primarily flame-colored bodies with golden crests, green upper back, and cinnamon tail feathers with black spots on them.

The females of this species are much smaller in size and have an overall mottled brown plumage. They also lack the crest that the males’ sport.

Their resemblance with chickens:

The flame-colored plumage of Golden Pheasants does give them a chicken-like impression. However, the two birds have nothing else in common.

Chickens have an erect, fleshy comb atop their heads, while the crest of Golden Pheasants is long and flowy. They also have long, straight tails, unlike the arched tails of chickens.


White-tailed Ptarmigan

Meet the Bird With Built-In Snowshoes | Audubon

Scientific name: Lagopus leucura
Height: 28-31 centimeters (11-12 inches)
Weight: 330-480 grams
Lifespan: around 3-4 years

Also referred to as Snow Quail, the White-tailed Ptarmigans are the smallest members of the grouse family. These grouses are permanent residents of the high mountain ranges of North America.

Both sexes of White-tailed Ptarmigans are almost identical in appearance; only the males are slightly larger and possess red eye combs. These birds undergo a complete molt annually, with a heavily mottled greyish-brown plumage in summers and a completely white plumage during winters.

Their resemblance with chickens:

White-tailed Ptarmigans resemble chickens with their small heads, short bills, stubby bodies, and short legs. It’s the color of their plumage that sets these birds apart.


Gambel’s Quail

Gambel's Quail - eBird

Scientific name: Callipepla gambelii
Height: 28 centimeters (11 inches)
Weight: 160-200 grams
Wingspan: 36-41 centimeters (14-16 inches)
Lifespan: around 1.5 years

Named after the American naturalist William Gambel, the Gambel’s Quails are a tiny quail species that inhabit the desert regions of the Southwestern United States.

Both sexes of the adult Gambel’s Quails have identical bodies, with variations in their faces. The males have brown crowns and black chin patches, both of which have white borders, whereas the females have plain grey faces with pale white chin patch. Both sexes possess black top knots on their heads.

The rest of their bodies are covered in bluish-grey plumage, with brown streaks on their wings.

Their resemblance with chickens:

The only similarity Gambel’s Quails share with chickens is their short, stocky bodies. Here are some major differences between these birds:

  • Gambel’s Quails are substantially smaller than the chickens and weigh much lesser, too.
  • Their plumage is much duller in comparison to the iridescent plumage of the chickens.
  • Their top knots look nothing like the comb that rests on the chickens’ heads.


Hazel Grouse

Hazel Grouse - eBird

Scientific name: Tetrastes bonasia
Height: 35-39 centimeters (14-15 inches)
Weight: 430 grams
Lifespan: around 7 years

The Hazel Grouses are a small grouse species that have a dense population throughout the coniferous woodlands of the Palearctic. Both sexes of these birds appear more or less identical and are distinguished by the males’ longer crests and black throats.

Hazel Grouses have grey upperparts, brown wings, and white underparts covered in heavy chestnut flecks. Their short, grey tails have a black tip that is only visible in flight.

Their resemblance with chickens:

Hazel Grouses have rounded, stocky bodies and short legs like the chickens, which is all that these birds have in common. Their plumage is dull grey, unlike the bright, iridescent plumage of the chickens. They also possess a feathered crest on their head, while the chickens have a fleshy red comb.


Summing it up

With this, we’ve reached the end of our article. Let’s quickly revisit everything we learned today before we bid goodbye. If you’ve been paying attention so far, you’d have noticed that almost all the birds on our list are ground-dwellers. This makes sense because most terrestrial birds share similar physical features that help them survive on land.

It’s also obvious that most chicken-like birds belong to the Pheasant family (Phasianidae), which means they’re all related to chickens, even if distantly. Some common names that have popped up several times include pheasants, grouses, and quails.

So, the next time you spot a bird running around looking like chickens but not quite, you’ll easily be able to recognize them if you take a closer look.

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