The red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus) I mentioned earlier is believed to have given rise to domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) about five thousand years ago. They are one of my favourite birds. This is not about the eggs and meat they supply round the year. I am talking about their plumage. Chicken belong to the family Phasianidae. Along with peafowl, pheasants, partridges, quails, and turkeys. The males of many species in this avian family are brilliantly coloured (and larger) in comparison to the drab females. One wouldn’t know how colourful chicken can be if one knew only the broilers reared on poultry farms. Traditional varieties sported striking plumage. In fact, the illustrations of poultry breeds in old books are nothing short of art work.

Image Attribution: The image above is sourced from Wikimedia Commons and present in A Monograph of the Pheasants, Volume II.