STATUS IN THE WILD: Least Concern
RANGE: Western China
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
Male golden pheasants have a golden-yellow crest with a hint of red at the tip. Their face, throat, chin, and sides of the neck are a rusty tan color. The wattles and orbital skin are both yellow in color, while the ruff is light orange. The upper back is green and the rest of the back and rump is golden-yellow. The females, also known as hens, are less showy with a duller mottled brown plumage, like a common pheasant. The female’s breast and sides are barred buff and blackish-brown, but the abdomen is plain buff. Both males and females have yellow legs and yellow bills.
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
Despite the male’s showy appearance, these hardy birds are very difficult to see in their natural habitat, which is very dense. Since they are so hard to see, little is known about their behavior in the wild. They can fly in short bursts but are clumsy in flight and tend to spend most of their time on the ground, nesting in trees at night.
Golden pheasants lay eight to twelve eggs at a time and will then sit on these eggs for approximately twenty-two to twenty-three days before they hatch.
They are native to Western China.
Golden pheasants spend most of their time on the ground in very dense and well vegetated areas but nest in the trees at night.
They feed on grain on the ground, leaves, and invertebrates.