Tem­minck’s tragopan

This beau­ti­ful pheas­ant ‘dances’ in a bid to at­tract a mate

World of Animals - - Fantastic Pheasants -

Found in the moun­tain forests of western and cen­tral China, north­east In­dia and north­ern Myan­mar, Tem­minck’s tragopans are ar­guably the most beau­ti­ful of all pheas­ant species. Their bright blue face and throat wat­tle are used to en­tice fe­males dur­ing the mat­ing sea­son. The males in­flate their neck patch, fan their tails and at­tract the fe­males’ at­ten­tion by dis­play ‘danc­ing’.

The males don’t de­velop their strik­ing bright red plumage un­til their se­cond year; in their first year they have cam­ou­flage coloura­tion sim­i­lar to fe­males. In China these pheas­ants are known as ‘baby cry birds’, so-called for the wail­ing cry the males make in the evenings. Fe­male tragopans make their nests high up in ma­ture trees, of­ten us­ing aban­doned nests. This tragopan is named after Coen­raad Ja­cob Tem­minck, a Dutch zo­ol­o­gist and mu­seum di­rec­tor.

right While it spends the ma­jor­ity of the day feed­ing on the ground, un­usu­ally for pheas­ants, Tem­minck’s tragopans pre­fer to nest in trees

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