Terrestrial Environment.

About 29% of the earth's surface is land. I class all barren land, mountain tops, hillsides, sparsely vegetated areas, scrub-land and heaths as terrestrial.

Open areas of land (5.2%)

Some of these birds are flightless or are reluctant fliers. Open areas allow them to see potential threats and either run or “freeze” and rely on camouflage. Sub-habitats are defined mainly by behaviour and feeding technique.

1. Polar regions, high mountains, rocky hillsides (0.7%)

  • Arctic region – Gyr Falcon, Snowy Owl, Surfbird, Snow Bunting, Ibis bill, Ptarmigans (3).
  • Antarctic region - Emperor Penguin.
  • High Mountains – Choughs (3), Snowcocks (5), Alpine Accentors (12).
  • Hills and mountains – Owls (3), Rock Thrushes (14), Rock Jumpers (2), Rock Fowl (2), Ring Ouzel, Grouse/Capercaillie (13), plus Finches including Great Rosefinch, Mongolian and Crimson-winged Finch, Grey-crowned Rosy Finch, Snowfinch, Rock Bunting, American Pipit.

2. Barren, sparsely vegetated land (1.2%)

  • Arid, desert areas - Desert Sparrow (Passer simplex in Europe and Africa), Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata, North and Middle America).
  • Semi-arid areas - Cordon-bleus (in the Waxbill family) are ground feeders found in semi-arid habitats in Africa.
  • Open, dry, arid, stony country - Coursers (9), Sandgrouse (16), Wheatears (23),
  • Scrub, scree, rocky canyons - Cactus Wren, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren.
  • Open land, sometimes exposed soil or sand no trees - Ground nesters - Sparrow-Larks (6), Temminck’s, Horned, Greater and Lesser Hoopoe-Lark.
  • Low thorny bushes - Roadrunners (2) of North and Mid America pursue small mammals, lizards and snakes.
  • Open scrubland, few shrubs, few trees - Ostrich (2), Rhea (2), Emu (1), Bustard (27), Thick-knee (9). Plains-wanderer, Seedsnipe, Trumpeter, Buttonquail, , Australian Mudnesters, Mesite, Kagu.

3. Heaths & hillsides (3.3%).

  • Open moorland, low bush, shrub, thick grass - Turkey, Grouse, Partridge, Francolin, Quail, Pheasant, Woodcock. (166).
  • Open moorland, shrubs, scattered trees, streams. - Larks (88), Pipits (40), New World Quail (32).

Note To see a little more about niches occupied by some Game birds click on Grouse & Ptarmigan niches.