MEGAPODIIDAE (4 species)

The megapodes or scrubfowl are an Australasian radiation, with 4 species in the southern and western Pacific. The species eremita and layardi are sometimes considered subspecies of freycinet, widespread from Malysia through Melanesia. They are treated here as species within a superspecies (Sibley and Monroe 1990).

Megapodius eremita Melanesian Megapode
M. e. brenchleyi Res Solomon Is except Rennell and Bellona, but incl Green Is and Nuguria (Tarburton 2006), Takuu, Nukumanu, and Ontong Java (Hadden 2004b). Absent from Temotu (Dutson 2011).

M. layardi Vanuatu Megapode
Res Vanuatu (Banks Is, islands n and c Vanuatu, Bregulla 1992; poss extirpated Tanna, Dutson 2011; 2500-10000 inds, Birdlife International 2003).

M. laperouse Micronesian Megapode
M. l. laperouse Res Mariana Is from Anatahan north except Asuncion and Saipan (1440-1975 inds incl 500-800 Sarigan, Birdlife Intl; current Saipan population about 50 possibly due to recolonization, Pratt and Bruner 1978); extirp Guam, Rota, Tinian; status uncertain Aguigan, Medinilla (Reichel and Glass 1991).
M. l. senex Res Palau (hundreds Kayangel, 500 inds elsewhere, Birdlife Intl.).

M. pritchardii Polynesian Megapode (Malau)
Res Tonga (Niuafoou 820 inds, Birdlife Intl, Rinke 1986; (re?)-int Fonualei 300-500 inds; introductions Tafahi, Late, Nuiatoputapu failed , Watling 2001, Birdlife International 2004, Rinke 1986).
Extirp (this sp?) Kermadec Is. (Holdaway 2001, Veitch et al 2004), American Samoa (Ofu, Steadman 1993).


The new-world quail are present in the Pacific only as a result of introductions.

Callipepla californica California Quail
C. c. californicus Int Norfolk I from NZ, NZ (NI, SI), Chatham Is (?extirpated, Miskelly et al 2006), Hawaiian Is (Kauai few, ?Lanai, Molokai 11,590 inds, Maui 2900 inds, Hawaii 62,550 inds, Pyle and Pyle 2009; most now hybrids with C. c. brunnescens). Int Lord Howe I, now extirpated (Hutton 1991).
C. c. brunnescens Int NZ (NI, SI), Chatham Is (Chatham, Pitt, poss extirpated, Miskelly et al 2006), Hawaiian Is (Kauai, Lanai, Mauai, Hawaii, most now hybrids with californicus). Int Juan Fernandez Is (Mas Afuera I).

NOTE: OSNZ (1990) shows that C. c. brunnescens is the subspecies introduced to New Zealand, whereas Long (1981) suggested that brunnescens and californicus were both introduced there and to the Hawaiian Is. Madge and McGowan (2002) indicate instead that achrustera was introduced to both New Zealand and Hawaiian Is.

C. gambelii Gambel's Quail
C. g. subsp? Int Hawaiian Is (Hawaii, Lanai, Kahoolawe).

PHASIANIDAE (16 species)

Order followed here as in Boyd, including inclusion of Meleagrididae; see also Christidis and Boles (1994). Most species have been introduced to the Pacific region, the only exceptions the Australasian quail; Red Jungle Fowl was introduced by Polynesians to most parts of the Pacific.

Bambusicola thoracicus Chinese Bamboo Partridge
B. t. thoracicus Int Iwo Is (Iwojima).
NOTE: David and Gosselin (2002b) established that Bambusicola is masculine.

Gallus gallus Red Jungle-Fowl
Int, generally by indigenous peoples although since advent of Europeans interbreeding with domestic strains common; except for possibly the Caroline Islands, there appear to be no genetically pure populations in the Pacific (Peterson and Brisbin 2005). Int Mariana Is (Rota, Tinian, Saipan, Anatahan, Alamagan, Pagan, extirp Guam, Rieichel and Glass 1991), Palau, Caroline Is, Nauru (Buden 2008), Marshall Is, Kiribati, Hawaiian Is (Kauai, Niihau, Pyle and Pyle 2009), Society Is, Marquesas Is, Tuamotu Is, Tubuai Is, Gambier Is, New Caledonia (Isle of Pines, extirp Grande Terre, Barre and Dutson 2000), Vanuatu (incl Nendo, Utupua), Fiji but extirp Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, Norfolk I, Samoa, Wallis and Futuna (Thibault et al 2015), Tonga, Tokelau Is, Cook Is (Rarotonga, Holyoak 1980). Int by Europeans but now extirpated, late 1700s and early 1800s NZ (NI,SI, HANZAB), Lord Howe I (Hutton 1991); status of small, localized, feral populations in NZ is uncertain (see also OSNZ 2010).

Francolinus pondicerianus Grey Francolin
F. p. interpositus? Int Hawaiian Is (se Is.).

F. francolinus Black Francolin
F. f. asiae? Int Hawaiian Is (SE Is), Mariana Is (Guam).

Pavo cristatus Indian Peafowl
Int NZ (NI, SI), Hawaiian Is (SE Is.), New Caledonia (Grande Terre, Barre and Dutson 2000, Dutson 2011).

Coturnix japonica Japanese Quail
Int Hawaiian Is.

C. novaezelandiae New Zealand Quail
Extinct. Res formerly NZ (NI, Great Barrier I, SI).

NOTE: Some authors consider conspecific with C. pectoralis Stubble Quail, but consistent plumage and structural differences suggest otherwise (HANZAB; Christidis and Boles 2008; OSNZ 2010).

C. ypsilophora Brown Quail
C. y. australis Int (poss self-int?) NZ (NI, several NI offshore islands). Int Fiji (Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Makogai [where now extirp- Watling 2001]).

NOTE: Some authors retain in Synoicus, but generally merged with Coturnix (Christidis and Boles 2008).
Although subspecies australis and ypsilophora said to have been int to NZ (see Long 1981), specimens examined are consistent with australis (HANZAB). In any event, the subsp are doubtfully distinct (Christidis and Boles 1994).

C. chinensis Blue-breasted Quail
C. c. lineata Int Mariana Is (Guam).

Alectoris rufa Red-legged Partridge
Int NZ (NI, Chambers 2000).

A. chukar Chukar
A. c. chukar Int NZ (SI, most hybrids with A. c. koroviakovi (OSNZ 2010), but see HANZAB: little evidence for this), Hawaiian Is except Oahu (Hawaii 5500 inds, Maui 1700, Molokai 250, Lanai ?inds, Kauai ?inds, Pyle and Pyle 2009, Long 1981).

Pternistis erckelii Erckel's Francolin

NOTE: Pternistis has precedence (Penhallurick).
P. e. erckelii? Int Hawaiian Is.

Meleagris gallopavo Wild Turkey
M. g. intermedia Int Hawaiian Is (Niihau, Lanai, Maui, Hawaii, Molokai; most turkeys in Hawaiian Is now show mostly characters of this taxon, Pyle and Pyle 2009); New Caledonia (this subsp? Grande Terre, birds from United States, Barre and Dutson 2000).
M. g. gallopavo OSNZ (2010) indicates that current NZ populations are derived from this taxon. Int NZ (NI, SI).
M. g. subsp. Int Fiji (Taveuni, Laucala, Naitauba; int and extirp Makogai, Mago, Watling 2001).

Phasianus colchicus Common (Ring-necked) Pheasant
Int Hawaiian Is 70,000 inds in 1951 (Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Hawaii); New Caledonia (Grande Terre, birds from NZ, Barre and Dutson 2000); New Zealand (NI,SI); Norfolk I, now extirpated (HANZAB).
NOTE: Birds introduced to Hawaiian Is and New Zealand are of several subspecies, including colchicus, torquatus, and mongolius, which have hybridized to varying extents; in the Hawaiian Is pure torquatus may still occur on Lanai (Long 1981).

P. versicolor Green Pheasant
Int (now extirpated? Pyle and Pyle 2009) Hawaiian Is (mostly Hawaii).

NOTE: Some authors (see Madge and McGowan 2002) consider this taxon a good species; it occurs in apparently pure form sympatric with colchicus/torquatus in Hawaiian Is (Hawaii: Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Long 1981).

Lophura leucomelanos Kalij Pheasant
Int Hawaiian Is (Hawaii), apparently mix of subspecies leucomelanos and hamiltonii, T. Pratt).


Represented in the Pacific by the resident population at the Galapagos Is.

Phoenicopterus ruber Greater Flamingo
P. r. ruber Res 500-1000 inds Galapagos Is (San Salvador, Floreana, Santa Cruz, s Isabela, Rabida).

PODICIPEDIDAE (11 species)

An almost cosmopolitan family containing 21 species in 6 genera. In the Pacific Region, grebes occur regularly only in the sw on larger islands with freshwater lakes and ponds, where they are essentially sedentary, but capable of long-range movements in unfavorable conditions. Some movement between breeding and winter ranges in a few species.

Tachybaptus ruficollis Little Grebe
T. r. poggei Cas Ogasawara Is.
NOTE: This species, T. tricolor, and T. novaehollandiae (below) have been treated as conspecific, but the latter two are sympatric in New Guinea (Sibley and Monroe 1990; Mayr and Diamond 2001). Iris color differs in the area of sympatry: while northeastern subspecies of ruficollis have pale irises (eg poggei), irises are dark in southeastern subspecies, including collaris (pers. comm. Alain Fosse, Paul Van Gasse).

Tachybaptus tricolor Tricolored Grebe
T. t. collaris Res Solomon Is (?Nuguria, Tarburton 2006; Bougainville).

T. novaehollandiae Australasian Grebe
T. n. rennellianus Res Solomon Is (Rennell; acc Guadalcanal? Mayr and Diamond 2001).
T. n. leucosternos Res Vanuatu, New Caledonia.
T. n. novaehollandiae Res NZ (NI: Northland 50). Cas NZ (SI, has bred).
T. n. subsp? Acc Apr-Nov 1975 up to 12 Lord Howe I (McAllan et al 2004), ?Norfolk I.

Podilymbus podiceps Pied-billed Grebe
P. p. podiceps? Cas Nov-Apr Hawaiian Is. Formerly res Hawaiian Is (Hawaii: Aimakapa Pond).
P. p. antarcticus? Res? Galapagos Is (Isabela, Santa Maria, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal).
P. p. subsp? Vis Galapagos Is. Acc Guadalupe I, Revillagigedo Is (Socorro, Jehl and Parkes 1982), Cocos I (Montoya 2012).

Poliocephalus poliocephalus Hoary-headed Grebe
Cas NZ (NI, SI; has bred; 22 recs, most from invasion 1975-76 and subs years, Watola). Acc Jun Lord Howe I (Hutton 1991, McAllan et al 2004), Feb Snares Is (Best 1976).

P. rufopectus New Zealand Grebe (Dabchick)
Breeds NZ (NI, total 1200-1500: Northland 200, Volcanic Plateau 500, Hawke's Bay 400, Wairarapa 150, Manawatu 400.) Extirp NZ (SI, OSNZ 2010, but bred for first time since mid-20th century SI at Golden Bay 2012, Petyt 2013).

Podiceps cristatus Great Crested Grebe
P. c. australis Breeds NZ (SI, total in 2004 est 390: Marlborough 2; Canterbury 230, including 99 at Lake Heron, 22 at Lake Pearson, 22 at Lake Benmore; West Coast 17; Otago 123, including 75 at Lake Hayes; Fiordland 18; Jensen and Snoyink 2005). Cas NZ (NI).

P. auritus Horned Grebe
Acc Hawaiian Is (2 recs Kauai: Dec-May 1976-77 and Jan 1986; Pyle and Pyle 2009).

P. grisegena Red-necked Grebe
Acc Hawaiian Is (Feb-Apr Kauai, 1 rec, Pyle and Pyle 2009).

P. nigricollis Black-necked (Eared) Grebe
P. n. californicus Acc (this subsp?) Hawaiian Is (Feb-Apr Oahu 1983, Nov 1998 Laysan, Oct 2009 Maui, Pyle and Pyle 2009), Guadalupe I.
P. n. nigricollis Cas Ogasawara Is.

Aechmophorus occidentalis/clarkii Western/Clark's Grebe
Acc Nov-Mar Guadalupe I. An Aechmophorus grebe was reported at Kawaihae, Hawaii, Hawaiian Is Dec 2011, but was unconfirmed as to species (Withgott, Pyle- posts to HAWAIIBIRDING).


The 3 extant species are widespread and characteristic in the tropical Pacific.

Phaethon aethereus Red-billed Tropicbird
P. a. mesonauta Breeds Revillagigedo Is (San Benedicto 200 prs, Pitman and Ballance 2002; occurs Clarion, Wanless et al 2009), Galapagos Is several thousand prs. Eggs year round, but synchronous Galapagos Is (Plazas), possibly due to plentiful space for nesting (Castro and Phillips 1996) and Nov-Dec Revillagigedo Is (San Benedicto, Pitman and Ballance 2002). At sea tropical e Pacific between California (peak Sep) and Peru. Cas Hawaiian Is (20 recs, all adults, mostly French Frigate Shoals and Kilauea Point, Venderwerf et al 2008; Pyle and Pyle 2009 consider these reports refer to only about 10 individuals), Marquesas Is, Tuamotu Arch. Acc Johnston Atoll (pair 1976, Pyle annd pyle 2009), Marshall Islands (specimen, Ratak Group), Norfolk I (photos, Jun-Dec 2010, Mustoe, Bower, Clark). Recs for Fiji considered incorrect (Watling 2001) and others for Marshall Is and Caroline Is (Kosrae), considered hypothetical (Pyle and Engbring 1985).

P. rubricauda Red-tailed Tropicbird
NOTE: Although Tarburton (1989) showed that measurements are clinal in the Pacific, and suggested that the traditional subspecies were invalid, the data (wing, culmen) show that Pacific birds can generally be assigned to subspecies mensurally. The Indian ocean subspecies rubricauda and westralis are generally not separable, however, from each other or from melanorhynchos, suggesting that there may be 3 valid races, as shown below.
P. r. rothschildi Breeds Iwo Is, Ogasawara Is, Mariana Is (Rota, Guguan, Pagan, Maug, Uracas, Reichel and Glass 1991), Palau (Southwest Is- Tobi, Sonsorol, where pres since late 1970s and breeding by early 1990s, Pratt and Etpison 2008), Marshall Is 825+ inds, King 1974 (Taongi, Bikar, Taka, Eniwetok, Jemo, Amerson 1969; King 1974, Pyle and Engbring 1985), Wake I 20 inds (King 1974, Engbring 1985), Johnston I 110 inds (King 1974), Hawaiian Is 13,780 prs (12,800 of these NW Is, Pyle and Pyle 2009), ?Revillagigedo Is (San Benedicto 10 prs present but breeding not yet proven, Pitman and Ballance 2002), ?Clipperton I (Howell and Webb 1995). Vis Caroline Is (Pohnpei, Truk). Cas (this subsp?) Palau; atolls n of Solomon Is (Hadden 2004a, 2004b; Dutson 2001). Acc off Baja California 31N/123W, banded at Kure Atoll (King 1974). At sea to 10N, occ as far south as 0/178W (King 1974).
P. r. rubricauda (incl melanorhynchus) Breeds islands of tropical Pacific between ranges of rothschildi and roseotinctus: Howland I (130 inds, King 1974), Baker I (20 inds, King 1974), Kiribati (Phoenix Is 1740+ ins, Line Is 10,070 inds, King 1974), Samoa (Rose Atoll), Fiji, Wallis and Futuna (few breeding prs Uvea, Thibault et al 2015), Tonga, Cook Is (Mangaia <100 prs, Rarotonga <100 prs, Mitiaro <100 prs, Manuae <100 prs, Takutea 1000-10,000 prs, Suwarrow 100-1000 prs, Palmerston 100-1000 prs, Pukapuka <100 prs, Penrhyn <100 prs, ?Manihiki, ?Rakahanga, Holyoak 1980), Tuamotu Is, Tubuai (Rurutu, Rimatara, Tubuai, Raivavao, Rapa, Penhallurick 2003), Pitcairn Is, ?Easter I. Eggs year round most locations. Vis Marquesas Is (Chester et al 1998), Niue. At sea to 4N, occ to 18N/166W (King 1974).
P. r. roseotinctus (For use of roseotinctus, not roseotincta, see David and Gosselin 2002a). Breeds New Caledonia (this subsp- Barre and Dutson 2000- Surprise, Walpole 65 prs, Matthew, Hunter, Isle Pines), Vanuatu (Tongoa, Laike, Dutson 2011), Norfolk I 100-1000 prs (Priddel et al 2010), Lord Howe I 500-1000 prs (McAllan et al 2004), Kermadec Is (200 prs Herald, <100 prs Macauley, <50 prs Raoul, <20 prs Curtis, Veitch et al 2004). Eggs peak Dec-Apr Kermadec Is and Norfolk I, Nov-Feb at Lord Howe I (Hutton 1991). Few birds pres Jul-Sep Lord Howe I (McAllan et al 2004).
P. r. subsp. At sea between 40N and 40S, generally at latitudes of breeding ranges (King 1974), e to Guadalupe I, Revillagigedo Is, Clipperton I (see rothschildi and off s. California (McGrath and Feenstra 2005); AOU 1957, 1998). Cas Solomon Is (Green Is, Tarburton 2006), Tuvalu, Tokelau Is (Penhallurick 2003), NZ (mostly Jan-May NI, about 30 records in all, OSNZ 2010). Acc Nauru? (no certain records, Buden 2008), Cocos I (Montoya 2012), Galapagos Is.

P. lepturus White-tailed Tropicbird
P. l. dorotheae Breeds Ogasawara Is, Iwo Is, Palau, Mariana Is (Guam, Guguan, Agrihan, Reichel and Glass 1991), Caroline Is (Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae), Wake I, Marshall Is (Bikar, Erikub, Eniwetok, Jaluit, Amerson 1969), Kiribati (Phoenix Is, Line Is), ?Nauru (Buden 2008), Hawaiian Is (main islands 1550 pairs, Pyle and Pyle 2009; Midway Is since 1949, 5 prs Pyle and Pyle 2009), Solomon Is (Sikaiana, Ontong Java, Dutson 2001; Nukumanu, Tulun, Hadden 2004b), ?Vanuatu, New Caledonia (Walpole 20 prs, Matthew, Hunter, Barre and Dutson 2000), Tuvalu, Fiji, Wallis and Futuna (Thibault et al 2015), Samoa (Upolu, Savaii, Tutuila, Manua), Tonga (incl Niuafoou, Rinke 1986), Cook Is (Rarotonga 100-1000 prs, Aitutaki few prs, Mangaia few prs, ?Pukapuka, Holyoak 1980), Niue (Powlesland et al 2000), Society Is, Marquesas Is, Tuamotu Is, Tubuai Is, Gambier Is 15-22 prs, Pitcairn Is, Easter I. Eggs year round. At sea w and c Pacific between 30N and 30S. Cas NZ (Dec-Jun NI, about 16 records, OSNZ 2010), Lord Howe I (7 recs Feb-May, McAllan et al 2004), Norfolk I. Acc Clipperton I, Cocos I (Montoya 2012), several 300-500 miles off So. California Dec 1988 (Stallcup 1990).

PTEROCLIDAE (1 species)

This family is represented in the Pacific by a single introduced species.

Pterocles exustus Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
P. e. hindustan Int Hawaiian Is (Hawaii; this subsp, Pyle and Pyle 2009).