Tim Melling – Golden Pheasant in the wild

Tim writes: most people will be familiar with Golden Pheasant as an aviary bird, or perhaps even as a naturalised escapee in Britain.  But this is a wild, wary male in its natural habitat at Tangjiahe in China.  This one had been caught out in the open and was dashing for the cover of a bamboo thicket. 

Its scientific name Chrysolophus pictus, which translates as “golden crest” and “painted”. 

Males are about a metre from bill to tail tip, but the tail accounts for about two thirds of this.  They are not easy to see in the wild, and even less easy to photograph, so I was quite pleased to capture this running individual.  It was taken early morning on a dull day, but despite that the colours still leap out at you.  Females, who undertake all incubation and chick-rearing duties, are brown and camouflaged.


1 Reply to “Tim Melling – Golden Pheasant in the wild”

  1. It’s a fabulous bird. Like the birds of paradise, an extreme example of the males jazzing themselves up to attract the females.
    Great to see a really wild one as I’ve only seen them at Kew. And even there they’re not easy to see. Thanks.

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