The Golden Pheasant represents a highly colorful game bird. This species of animal remains endemic to mountain forests in western China, in Asia. However, groupings of feral individuals have become established in several non-native regions.
These non-native populations appear most common in portions of the United Kingdom. In England, the feral pheasant frequently occurs in the heavy forest region of Breckland, as well as in East Anglia.
Despite the bright colors of their plumage, they remain extremely difficult to see in their native habitat. There their color patterns provide a natural camouflage.
Golden Pheasant Physical Characteristics
The Golden Pheasant displays a distinct sexual dimorphism. The male grows both larger and possessed of much brighter plumage than the female.
The male attains a length of as much as 41 in (105 cm), and the showy tail accounts for roughly two-thirds of this length. The plumage of the female is typically a mottled brown in color. The female Golden Pheasant attains a length of only about 31.5 in (80 cm). Her tail accounts for roughly half of this length.
Both the male and female Golden Pheasant possess yellow bills and legs. The males display the bright golden crest for which the species is named.
Golden Pheasant Diet and Behavior
We actually know very little about the behavior of the Golden Pheasant in the wild. Their diet appears to principally consist of a mix of leaves, grain, and small invertebrates. They feed during the day and roost in trees at night.
The Golden Pheasant remains fully capable of flight, though they appear clumsy doing so. They prefer to walk or run, and they rarely take flight, except to escape danger or to take to the trees at night.
After mating, the female typically lays between 8-12 eggs at a time. The incubation period of this bird usually lasts between 22-23 days.