Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Gallus gallus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Galliformes
Family:Phasianidae
Genus:Gallus
Species:G. gallus
Common Names:Red Junglefowl
Status:Uncommon Resident

Description

Ancestor of the domestic chicken. Males and females differ in plumage and size. The male is larger (65–78 cm) and more colourful than the female (41–46 cm). The male sports a glossy dark green tail, with long and strongly arched central tail feathers. The female, on the other hand, is drab brown and lacks the long tail feathers of the male.

Read more about the Galliformes order.
Read more about the Phasianidae family.

General Biology

The Red Junglefowl is threatened by habitat loss, poaching and interbreeding with domestic stock. It was unrecorded in Singapore before the 1970s. A small breeding population was established on Pulau Ubin around 1985 and has since increased in number. It is possible that the population at Pulau Ubin was from birds that naturally settled on the island, although escapees from captive stock cannot be ruled out. Some birds were intentionally released into the parks and nature reserves, and breed freely within these areas. It haunts secondary jungle, as well as orchards, plantations and mangroves. The wild population consists of very shy birds, and they are rather difficult to see, although their calls are often heard. It sounds like a truncated version of the domestic rooster’s crow.

A family group consists of an alpha male and his harem of up to 10 or more females and immature males. When males meet, there may be confrontations, especially when females are involved.

The crow of the cock is recorded on video HERE where sonograms are made available by birder-photographer Sun Chong Hong. He has also documented on video various behavioural observations of a colony in Singapore at various dates in 2011: 11th October15th and 24th October; and in 2013: 12th March14th April4th July16th September15th October and 6th November. 

Life Cycle

The hen lays a clutch of about five eggs, details of which can be seen HERE.

References

Wang, L. K. 2011. Red jungle fowl. Pp. 429–430. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L.K. & Hails, C.J. 2007. An annotated checklist of birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179, Singapore.

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