Golden Pheasant Facts | China Wildlife Guide
Adult males bear a crest of gold feathers, from which their genus name,
Not much is known of the golden pheasant’s behavior in the wild. Despite the male’s flashy coloring, these birds are difficult to spot in the dense, dark conifer forests they inhabit. They forage on the ground for seeds, berries, grubs, leaves and tender shoots, while roosting high in the trees at night. They are clumsy fliers, preferring to run.
Males make a series of calls during the mating season and show off their vibrant plumage. After mating, the female constructs a nest on the ground surrounded by dense vegetation and digs a shallow depression which she lines with plant material. She lays a clutch of five to twelve eggs in April and keeps them incubated for 22 to 23 days.
The golden pheasants found in zoos are often the hybridized offspring of Lady Amherst’s pheasants and wild golden pheasants. In captivity, mutations have developed into a host of unique colorings, including silver, mahogany, peach, salmon, cinnamon and yellow. The wild golden pheasant’s coloring is referred to as “red golden” in aviculture.
Header Credit: Brad Josephs