Blue Eared-Pheasant (Crossoptilon auritum)

Range: Central China

Habitat: Coniferous forests up to 11,500 feet

Description: Distinctive and easily identified. The top of the head is covered with velvety black feathers, the “ears” are white and start beneath the chin and extend back over the ears. The facial skin is scarlet red. The rest of the body is bluish-gray. Immature birds are mottled gray-brown and will attain adult plumage by four months. Sexes are similar, but can be distinguished by looking at the spur. The spurs on the males are larger and round. The female’s are much smaller and are oblong in shape. The spurs will begin to be noticeable at about four months of age.

Status in Wild: Stable and the most common of the genus. Not endangered or threatened at this time.

Breeding Season: April through June

Breeding Age: While first year birds will lay, breed and are sometimes fertile, breeding results are best obtained with second year birds.

Clutch Size: 6 to 12

Incubation Period: 26 days