Pheasant (Golden) / Chrysolophus pictus

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The golden pheasant is also known as the Chinese pheasant

It has been introduced to Britain where it lives ferally

The male golden pheasant is easily recognisable by his golden crest and rump and bright red body. His golden cap” can be raised and appears as an alternating black and orange fan that covers the face when he displays. Females are duller with mottled brown plumage (see image below).

Despite the male’s bright plumage the birds are difficult to see in their natural habitat which consists of dense dark conifer forests.

They live on the forest floor in the sparse undergrowth feeding on grain, shoots, leaves and invertebrates. They spend the day on the ground and at night roost in the branches of the forest.

During the breeding season the male has a metallic call, which with his bright display feathers, helps him attract a mate. Golden pheasants nest on the ground and the female lays 8-12 eggs which are incubated for 22-23 days.