Edwards' Pheasant came from wet forests of Vietnam. It was thought to be extinct in the wild following chemical spraying of its habitat in the Vietnam War of the 1960s followed by logging and deforestation for agriculture, but a breeding pair was found in the late 1990s. A few others were suspected and one was taken from a hunter in 2000, the last confirmed wild individual. No confirmed sightings since, despite remote cameras, and may be extinct again in the wild. There are a few hundred in captivity, but all from 6-7 captive ancestors, so with low genetic diversity.
The male is iridescent midnight blue with turquoise scallops on his wings and a white crown. Both have red skin around the eye and red legs.
Edwards' Pheasant is named after French ornithologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards.
The female is plain brown with the red skin around the eye and red legs.
The Vietnamese Pheasant, also called the Vietnamese Fireback, was discovered in 1964 in the forests of north Vietnam and given the species name Lophura hatinhensis.
Both male and female look identical to its compatriot, Edwards' Pheasant, from the south except that males have white feathers in the tail.
It is now considered to be a subspecies of Edwards' Pheasant and given the name
L. edwardsi hatinhensis (Edwards' being the nominal subspecies).
Some sources still give it separate species status and some make it only a variation of Edwards' as L. edwardsi var. hatinhensis.
It is said Edwards' can grow white tail feathers if inbreeding.
The female Vietnamese Pheasant can also have white tail feathers.