Pedionomus – Plains-wanderer
The monotypic genus that is almost on the brink of extinction
Members of this genus are only found in Australia. The Riverina area of New South Wales is home to most surviving inhabitants.
A ground bird that looks like a quail and is 15–19 cm (5.9-7.4 in) in length. It is such an unusual bird that it is classified as a separate family, Pedionomidae. The mature male’s upper parts are light brown, with fawn-white underparts and black crescents. The adult female is significantly bigger than the male and wears a white-spotted black collar. They have superb concealment and will hide in the first instance if disturbed. However, when approached too closely, they will flee rather than fly, a skill they lack. Females deposit four eggs, which the male subsequently incubates.
Species in this genus
On the brink of extinction, these birds evolved around 60 million years ago, when Australia was connected to America