Golden pheas­ant

De­spite the show-stop­ping ap­pear­ance of this flame-coloured pheas­ant, these birds are in fact in­cred­i­bly shy

World of Animals - - Fantastic Pheasants -

De­spite their strik­ingly gar­ish ap­pear­ance and beam­ing crest of bright yel­low feath­ers, the beau­ti­ful golden pheas­ant is a shy, se­cre­tive bird and favours the cover of dense wood­land.

They are rare in the UK, con­fined to a few small ar­eas of in­tro­duc­tion. They pre­fer not to fly, in­stead favour­ing a quick dash through the un­der­growth to es­cape dan­ger. While the males daz­zle with their riot of colour, the fe­males are far plainer, with shades of brown and black mark­ings.

This pop­u­lar species has been kept in the UK since at least 1735 but is na­tive to moun­tain forests in China and lit­tle re­search has been done on them. There are very few pure-bred golden pheas­ants in cap­tiv­ity, and their pop­u­la­tion num­bers are de­clin­ing in the wild, so the breed­ing of cap­tive golden pheas­ants is man­aged us­ing a ‘stud­book’ as part of a co-or­di­nated breed­ing ef­fort.

“They pre­fer not to fly, in­stead favour­ing a dash through the un­der­growth”

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