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Megapodiidae – Megapodes

Dusky Megapode in Indonesia: Photo by Kristof Zyskowski

Welcome to our Megapodiidae guide! Discover the unique world of mound-building birds known as megapodes. From their fascinating nesting behaviors to their diverse habitats, we’ll explore the captivating features of these remarkable birds.

Overview of Megapodiidae

These chicken-like birds from Australasia, their name derived from the Greek for “big foot,” utilize their robust feet to break free from their shells. Once hatched, the chicks excavate through the warm material above to emerge into the open air. Many species’ offspring sport fully feathered wings and can take flight shortly after birth, beginning their independent lives without ever encountering their parents. However, this doesn’t diminish the parental efforts. Male members of various species expend significant energy constructing and maintaining nests to provide warmth for the eggs, while females lay exceptionally large eggs, resulting in highly precocial offspring among birds.