Golden Pheasant

The Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) also known as the Chinese Pheasant, is a parrot-like gamebird native to areas of western China. It has been introduced to the United Kingdom and other areas. Its habitat is dense, dark, young, coniferous forests with sparse undergrowth and mountainous areas. This bird is commonly found in aviaries and zoos, although they are often impure and contain other pheasant in their lineage.

The adult male is 35.5 to 41.33 inches in length, its tail accounting for two-thirds of its length. It is unmistakable with its golden crest and rump and bright red body. The deep orange cape can be spread in display, appearing as an alternating black and orange fan that covers all of the face except its bright yellow eye. Males have a golden-yellow crest with a hint of red at the tip. The face, throat, chin, and the sides of neck are rusty tan. The upper back is green and the rest of the back and rump are golden-yellow in color. The central tail feathers are black spotted with cinnamon as well as the tip of the tail being cinnamon. The upper tail coverts are the same color as the central tail feathers. Lower legs and feet are a dull yellow.

The female is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown
plumage. The female’s breast and sides are barred buff and blackish brown, and the abdomen is plain buff. She has a buff face and throat. Some abnormal females may later in their lifetime get some male plumage. Lower legs and feet are a dull yellow. The female is much smaller than the male and is between 23.66 and 31.5 inches long.

They feed on the ground on grain, leaves and invertebrates, but roost in trees at night. While they can fly, they prefer to run. If they do get startled they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed, with a distinctive wing sound. Although they can fly in short bursts they are quite clumsy in flight and spend most of their time on the ground. Golden Pheasants lay 8-12 eggs at a time and will then incubate these for around 22-23 days. They tend to eat berries, grubs, seeds and other types of vegetation.

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