Lady Amherst's Pheasant, named after the wife of the first known person to bring the bird to the UK in 1828,
comes from south-eastern Tibet, northern Myanmar and south-western China.
The length of the tail is nearly three times that of the head and body -- over a metre long.
Those shown in the row above are hybrids with Golden Pheasant giving a longer red crest and crown, a red belly
and a different tail pattern to the pure ones shown in the first row.
Related to the Golden Pheasant, the Lady Amhersts' live in high altitude bamboo forests. So they can survive the wet and
cold of the UK where there is a small feral population.
The natural tail pattern is the barred one shown above, and
with a green crown to the head.
The tail pattern above
and the full red crown are hybrids of Lady Amherst with
The plainer female is very well camouflaged. She also has a long tail, just over her body length. Left and centre above are pure Amherst; right is mixed heritage.
The hybrid females are a little redder in tone from Golden Pheasant genes.
The male's sub-adult
and non-breeding plumage looks like the female's. The first
one above is in transition back to non-breeding plumage. The
other two may be eclipse or juvenile plumage.
hybrids with plumage in transition.