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