Megapode bird on a branch


Megapodes are also known as mound builders and incubator birds. These birds have large feet which they use to make big heaps of vegetation or shallow burrows in which they incubate their eggs. Unusually, their chicks are quite well-developed and have their feathers by the time they hatch so they don't need parental care (precocial).

Scientific name: Megapodiidae

Rank: Family

Common names:

  • Incubator birds,
  • Megapodiidae,
  • Mound builders

Watch video clips from past programmes (1 clip)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


Map showing the distribution of the Megapodes taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

Explore this group