The beautiful, showy Golden Pheasant, the most colourful of the pheasants and one of the most colourful birds, is also called the
Chinese Pheasant since it comes from western China.
A forest-dwelling bird, feral flocks of Golden Pheasants have established in several countries, including the UK, from escapees or releases from captivity.
As with other pheasants, the hen (above) is patterned brown and well-camouflaged.
The tail of the male is about twice the length of his body.
One of the most colourful male pheasants
Several colour mutations and hybrids have been bred in
aviculture where the natural bird is called the Red Golden
Pheasant to distinguish from mutated plumages. Hybrids with
the related Lady Amherst Pheasant are common. Above
left/centre are Dark-throated Red Golden Pheasants where the
head is paler (natural above right) and the face/throat are dark black/green.
Another frequent colour mutation in aviculture is the Yellow Golden Pheasant, Chrysolophus pictus mut. luteus, above.
It seems such a shame to destroy such vibrant colours in the original Golden Pheasant.