People have been surprised to discover that there are birds that look like chickens. Some of these bird species are rare. And some mixed breeds only can be found in the wild. They’re an interesting bunch to learn about.
So, what birds look like chickens? The Plain Chachalaca, Wild Turkey, Scaled Quail, Gambel’s Quail, California Quail, Northern Bobwhite, Ruffed Grouse, Black Grouse, and Rock Ptarmigan are the most common bird species that have similar appearances to chickens.
Today we’re going to discuss those chicken-like birds, their characteristics, their similarities, and the major differences they have. If you are looking for the same information, we got you.
1. Plain Chachalaca
The plain chachalaca is a large bird species found in the Rio Grande, Peninsula, Texas, Belize, Honduras, and a few more places around these. This bird occupies a wide variety of areas like the riverine forest, shrubland, scrubby forests, and places near the water.
- The plain chachalaca is a large bird with an average length of 45 to 58 cm.
- It has a long tail tipped in white.
- The large body and small head give them a chicken-like appearance.
- It is overall brownish-gray in color.
- The tail is blackish, and the head is grayish.
The main similarity between the chicken and the plain chachalaca is the size and appearance. Both of their heads and bodies are quite similar to each other. Also, the grayish-colored chicken is very common. And the long tail is usual among the few chicken species.
Although the Plain Chachalaca has the appearance of a chicken, the size difference is noticeable. A lot of chicken species can grow three to five sizes larger than the plain chachalaca.
A few chicken species have crowns on their head, which is absent on chachalaca. Also, the Plain Chachalaca has comparatively thin and small legs.
2. Wild Turkey
The wild turkey is the ancestor of the domestic turkey and one of the extant turkey species. This species is native to North American territories. The wild turkey can be found in hardwood forests, fields, pastures, orchards, and scattered opening areas.
- This large gamebird species can reach about 43 to 46 inches.
- They can weigh around 88 to 382 oz.
- It has long legs wide and rounded tails.
- The head size is small and long-slim neck with a fanned tail.
- Featherless head and neck are blue-red mixed.
The round-shaped wild turkey is quite similar to chicken. The featherless head and neck of the wild turkey can be found in a few other chicken species. The long tail is also common among the few chicken species.
The wild turkey is larger bird species than the chickens. The length and weight differences are higher between these two. The fanned tail of the wild turkey is pretty unique. The mix of red-blue color is also not very common among the chickens.
3. Scaled Quail
The Scaled Quail is also known as blue quail. It is part new world quail family that can be seen around Central Mexico and the southwestern United States. It prefers sparsely vegetated shrublands, desert grasslands, and areas with mesquite, juniper, pinyon, prickly pear, and sand sage trees.
- The Scaled Quail is a comparatively smaller species of chickens and turkey.
- The average length is about 30 cm.
- It is a chubby chicken-like bird with a small head and a crest.
- The Scaled Quail has short legs and tails.
- Adults scaled are ale brownish with bluish-gray back.
- There is dark scaling on the lower parts and brown stippled on the wings.
The chicken and scaled quail have similar rounded body structures with a small head. The legs are short and strong for both species. Also, the scaled quail has shorter legs like the chickens. The scaled quail has a crest-like few chicken species.
The scaled quails are comparatively much shorter and skinnier than the chickens. It has a distinctive crest on its head. The usual crest on a chicken is different from the scaled quail. It has a more compact body shape than the chickens.
4. Gambel’s Quail
The Gambel’s Quail is another family member of the New World Quail. This species is found in the desert regions of California, Nex Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Sonora, and Utah. Their preferred areas are mesquite thickets beside the rivers, dry grasslands, shrublands, farming fields.
- The Gambel’s Quail is a Plump game bird with an average length of 25 cm.
- It has a unique forward-facing bright rufous crest.
- It is richly patterned gray, cream, and chestnut.
- The male Gambel has a creamy buff belly with a black patch on the center.
- The females are mainly gray.
The main similarity between chickens and the Gambel’s Quail is their body shape and structure. The Gambel’s quail has crest-like some chicken species. Their legs are short and strong like the chickens.
Like the scaled quails, the Gambel’s quails are much shorter and skinnier than the chickens. Even though they have crests, it is unlikely for the chickens to have the same. Also, the color variation is much higher than the chickens.
5. California Quail
The California quail is just like the Gambel’s quail. It is also part of the new world quail family. This ground-dwelling bird species can be found in forests of the Northwest and definitely in California. The sagebrush, chaparral, and oak woodlands are preferred areas of living.
- It is a comparatively smaller bird species with an average length of 26 cm.
- The California quail is a plump-shaped bird with a distinctive forward-facing crest.
- The bill and the head are small.
- Male California quails are affluent in brown and gray.
- They have pattern scales in chestnut, white, and creamy colors.
- The white markings on the neck and white stripe on the face are identical.
Like the other two quail species, the California Quail has a similar body structure and shape. The view from the front can easily confuse you with a chicken. It also has a crest on its head like the few chicken species. The legs are short and strong like the chickens.
The size of a matured California Quail is the same as a young chicken. Chickens can grow more than a quail. As we have mentioned, some chickens have crest too. But the crest of the quail and the chickens are different.
6. Northern Bobwhite
Another ground-dwelling bird species can be found in Canada, Mexico, Cuba, the United States, and some parts of Europe and Asia. The Northern Bobwhite is also known as bobwhite quail. Their usual places are pine forests, grasslands, and overgrown fields.
- It’s a small quail with an average length of 24 to 28 cm.
- The Northern Bobwhite is round-shaped with a small head.
- The tail is short, and the wings are rounded.
- They are complicated in brown, buff, rufous, and a few black spots.
- The males have a short crest.
- The face is mostly white with a brown stripe.
The Northern Bobwhite and chickens are quite similar in shape and body structure. It has a short crest that resembles the chickens. The color pattern definitely will remind you of a chicken. Short and strong legs are common among these species.
Quails are smaller than chickens. Some chicken species can reach around 70 cm. The crest on the quail is quite different from the chicken. The Northern Bobwhite has an upward body structure. And the tail of this species is wider than the chickens.
7. Ruffed Grouse
The ruffed Grouse is a medium-large-sized bird from the grouse family. It’s a non-migratory bird that can be found in Alaska and Canada. Their common living places are mixed deciduous forests and coniferous forests. The ruffed Grouse also prefers areas with forested streams.
- The Ruffed Grouse has an average length of 40 to 50 cm.
- It has a small head and a short crest.
- The legs are short, and the tail is fan-shaped.
- The color pattern is a little complicated with the reddish-brown or grayish background.
- It is overall grayish-brown and a mix of spotted plumage.
The body structure and size are mostly similar to chickens. The ruffed Grouse’s legs are short and strong like the chicken. The eyes are mostly the same as other species. The color pattern will easily match with a chicken species. It also has a crest.
The crest on the Ruffed Grouse is quite different from the chickens. The face structure of the ruffed Grouse and the chickens are quite different from each other. Other than these, there is not very much of an identical difference between them.
9. Black Grouse
The Northern Black Grouse, also known as Black Grouse, is a large game bird from the family of Grouse. This species can be found in Europe, Great Britain, Estonia, Scandinavia, and some places in Russia. They prefer places like between forests and open clearings.
- The Black Grouse is a large bird with an average length of 24 inches (60 cm).
- It has red wattle over the eye.
- The Tail is fanned and the white underneath.
- The fancy plumage is mostly black with profound blue on its neck and back.
- The females are smaller and overall grey-brown colored.
- Females have slightly notched tails.
- The tail is curved outward like a wave.
The Black Grouse is almost looked like chicken. The body shape and structure are highly similar to each other. In some places, this species is called cock (the male version of chicken). Some have long tails like the others. It is hard to tell them apart if you look from a little far.
The color combination is quite similar to this bird to the chicken. The tail structure of the black Grouse isn’t common or usual. The chickens are usually chubbier than the black Grouse. Other than a few, there are not many differences between the black Grouse and the chickens.
9. Rock Ptarmigan
The Rock Ptarmigan is a medium-sized bird breed around North America, Arctic, and subarctic areas. This species also can be seen in Norway, Bulgaria, Japan, Scotland, and several rocky mountain areas. It prefers dry, barren, and stony areas for living.
- The Rock Ptarmigan is part of the grouse family, with an average length of about 38 cm.
- It has a round-shaped chicken-like body.
- The legs are thick and feathered.
- The rock ptarmigan has a small head, small bill, and short neck.
- During the winter, it is almost white with dark eyes and tails.
- Other times, it’s mottled brown with a white belly and red eyebrow.
The Rock Ptarmigan is stocky and has a chicken-like body shape and structure. The head of both species are smaller, and the legs are short and strong. Also, the tail lengths of these species are similar along with the structure.
The rock ptarmigan and chickens have a length difference. Most of the chickens will grow more than the average length of the rock ptarmigan. The breeding male’s color pattern is quite different from the chickens.
Even though their body shape is similar, some of the chickens got more weight than the ptarmigan. Some chicken species have longer and thicker legs than the ptarmigan.
10. Ring-Necked Pheasant
The Ring-Necked Pheasant is also known as the common pheasant. This species can be found in Asia and some parts of Europe. This ground forager loves to spend time in the agricultural areas. The overgrown harvested fields, hedgerows, brushy areas, and rural roadsides are common places to find them.
- The Ring-Necked Pheasant is a large bird with an average length of 50 to 70 cm.
- It has a long tail and a comparatively longer neck.
- The body shape is rounded like the chickens.
- This renowned gamebird has a bold white ring.
- The neck is neck and head are green with red on its face.
- The body color is coppery with a few white and black spots.
The ring-necked pheasant is a chicken-like bird that has a similar body shape and structure to the chickens. The average length of this bird is also the same as most chickens. This ground dweller’s usual habitats are the same as chickens.
The long tail and neck are common with some of the chicken species. The legs are hairy and strong that will remind you of a chicken.
Like most of the chicken species, the Ring-Necked Pheasant doesn’t have appendages or crest on its head. The rick around the neck is quite unique that isn’t very common for the chickens. Other than these, there a very few differences between the Ring-Necked and Chickens.
There are a lot of birds that can remind you of chickens. Those chicken-like birds can easily confuse you with one another. These birds are especially the same with their body structure and shape.
These birds are mostly wild and ground-dwelling species. Some of them have a crest on their head, and others don’t. Almost all of these species have strong legs like chickens.
According to our research, these 10 chicken-like birds are the most common and have the highest similarities. If you know another species that should be on this list, please let us know in the comment section.
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