Classed midway between the Pigeons and game birds of the Grouse family. Found in Southern Europe, Africa, and Asia, but not E. of Bay of Bengal. Placed by Jerdon as a distinct natural family. Gray groups them as a subfamily of Tetraonidae, with which they only agree in having feathered tarsus.
Tarsus feathered in front. Wings long and pointed. First or second quill longest. Hind toe raised, very short or none. Orbits more or less nude. Plumage pale yellow, variegated with brown. After-shaft. Primaries eleven. Fifth secondary wanting. Tail of sixteen feathers (P. lichtensteini excepted). Generally found in flocks in open plains. Flight rapid. Fly to water regularly morning and evening. Feed on seeds. Sexes differ. Generally three eggs, elliptical, pale olive, double-spotted brown and purple. Young are hatched covered with down. As in true Grouse, the flesh of breast is of two colours, white near the bone and dark in outer part.