Bird Families

Encyclopedia | Jagged Partridge - Wiki


Toothed partridge (Odontophoridae (Gould, 1844)), or tree chickens, - a family of birds from the order of chickens (Galliformes), which are found in America, replace the partridges of the Old World in the New World.

The jagged partridge owes its name to its strong and denticulate beak. Representatives of the family are medium-sized or small motley-colored birds, quite reminiscent of the shape of their body partridges, and in their way of life occupying a middle place between them and grouse.


In tree chickens, the nostrils are covered with bare scales, and the metatarsus are covered with shields. In contrast to the partridge, the mandibles of tree chickens are equipped with two teeth on each side. In size, jagged partridges are larger than partridges in the Old World, and their plumage is painted in brighter colors.


Toothed partridges are found exclusively in the New World. Their range stretches from Canada to northeastern Argentina. Of the 31 species of the family, only six are common on the North American continent.


They lead a monogamous lifestyle, and build their nests in dense thickets. One clutch contains, as a rule, from twelve to fifteen eggs.


Earlier, the toothed-billed partridges were allocated into a subfamily (Latin Odontophorinae), to which about 50 species were numbered. According to the modern classification, the family includes nine genera and 31 species:

  • Genus Scaled Quail (Callipepla)
    • Douglas crested quail (Callipepla douglasii)
    • Helmet-crested quail (Callipepla gambelii)
    • California crested quail (Callipepla californica)
    • Scaly quail (Callipepla squamata)
  • Genus American partridge (Colinus)
    • Virginia ptarmigan (Colinus virginianus)
    • Black-throated partridge (Colinus nigrogularis)
    • White-breasted partridge (Colinus leucopogon)
    • Crested partridge (Colinus cristatus)
  • Genus Crying Quail (Cyrtonyx)
    • Weeping Quail Montezuma (Cyrtonyx montezumae)
    • Crying quail (Cyrtonyx ocellatus)
  • Genus Long-toed quail (Dactylortyx)
    • Long-toed quail (Dactylortyx thoracicus)
  • Genus Forest partridges (Dendrortyx)
    • Bearded Ptarmigan (Dendrortyx barbatus)
    • Guatemalan Ptarmigan (Dendrortyx leucophrys)
    • Long-tailed wood grouse (Dendrortyx macroura)
  • Genus Forest Quail (Odontophorus)
    • Wild-winged forest quail (Odontophorus capueira)
    • Chestnut Forest Quail (Odontophorus hyperythrus)
    • Collar forest quail (Odontophorus strophium)
    • Marble forest quail (Odontophorus gujanensis)
    • Red-breasted forest quail (Odontophorus speciosus)
    • Red-faced forest quail (Odontophorus erythrops)
    • Black-eared forest quail (Odontophorus melanotis)
    • Black-backed Forest Quail (Odontophorus melanonotus)
    • Black-faced forest quail (Odontophorus atrifrons)
    • Spotted forest quail (Odontophorus balliviani)
    • Star-shaped forest quail (Odontophorus stellatus)
    • Black-capped forest quail (Odontophorus dialeucos)
    • Crested forest quail (Odontophorus guttatus)
    • Venezuelan forest quail (Odontophorus columbianus)
    • White-chinned forest quail (Odontophorus leucolaemus)
  • Genus Mountain quail (Oreortyx)
    • California mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus)
  • Genus striped quail (Philortyx)
    • Striped quail (Philortyx fasciatus)
  • Genus Long-legged quail (Rhynchortyx)
    • Long-legged quail (Rhynchortyx cinctus)


The genetically most studied members of the family are the Virginia Ptarmigan (Colinus virginianus), as well as the helmet-crested quail (Callipepla gambelii), which, in comparison with other species of the family, owns most of the deposited sequences - respectively, nucleotide and protein.

In 2014, genomic sequencing of the American Virginia partridge was carried out.