Lady Amherst Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae)

Subspecies: None.

Range: Southwestern China & northern Burma. Has been introduced and is breeding locally into parts of Great Britain. Attempted introductions have taken place throughout the world, including New Zealand and Hawaii. Birds may also be seen in a semi-feral state in the US, mostly escapes from aviaries or purposely released. It is doubtful there are any breeding populations here.

Habitat: Forested areas and bamboo thickets.

Head & Neck – Crown: Short metallic green; Crest: Crimson, narrow, stiff elongated feathers; Face & Throat: Black with metallic green spots; Bare Facial Skin & Lappet: Bluish or bluish-green; Ruff: White, rounded feathers with a blue or black border; Beak: Bluish gray Iris: Yellow. Body – Mantle: Metallic bluish green, rounded feathers with a black border edged with scintillant (sparkling) green; Upper & Middle Back: Black with a green bar and a wide buffy yellow fringe; square, broad feathers; Rump: Black with a green bar and a vermilion fringe (like an irregular patch), square, broad feathers; Breast: Metallic bluish green, rounded feathers with a black border edged with scintillant green which is wider and brighter than mantle Lower Breast: White; Flanks: White, sometimes with a slight tinge of pale yellow over the white on the lower sides; Abdomen: White; Vent: White, barred with black and brownish-gray. Wings – Scapulars: Metallic bluish green, with black border edged with scintillant green; rounded feathers; Wing Coverts: Dark metallic blue with black borders; Primaries: Blackish-brown sparsely barred with buff. Tail – Central Rectrices: White, with curved unbroken crescent shaped blackish-blue bars and wavy black lines on the interspaces; Other Rectrices: Similar on the narrow inner web, silvery-gray passing to brown outside with curved black bars on the outer web; Upper Tail Coverts: Mottled black and white with long orange-vermilion tips; Under Tail Coverts: Black and dark green more or less barred with white; Length: 33 7/8 to 45 inches. Legs & Feet – Thighs: Mottle white, black and brown; Tarsus & Feet: Bluish gray. Size – 50 to 66 1/2 inches.

Head & Neck – Crown: Reddish chestnut with black barring; Sides of Head & Neck: Blackish brown, spotted with cinnamon buff strongly washed with reddish chestnut with dark blackish barring with a green sheen; Face: Buff, strongly tinged with reddish chestnut; Upper Throat: Pale buff, sometimes white; Lower Throat: Buff, strongly tinged with reddish chestnut; Lores, Cheeks, & Ear Coverts: Silvery gray spotted with black; Orbital Skin: Light slaty-blue; Beak: Bluish-gray; Iris: Brown, sometimes pale yellow or gray in older hens. Body – Mantle: Rufous (rust) buff, strongly washed with reddish-chestnut, with dark barring having a greenish sheen; Back: Chestnut, strongly vermiculated with black; Flanks: Buff with dark blackish barring; Breast: Buff with darkish brown barring with a green sheen; Abdomen: Pale buff, sometimes white. Wings – Wing Coverts, Tertiaries & Secondaries: Rufous buff, washed with reddish chestnut, black barring with a green sheen, bars courser that those on the mantle. Tail – Rufous brown, rounded feathers at the tip, strongly marked with broad irregular bars of black, buff and pale gray vermiculated with black; Length: 12 1/8 to 26 3/4 inches. Legs & Feet – Thighs: Buff, mottled black and brown; Legs & Feet: Bluish-gray. Size – 26 to 26 3/4 inches

Breeding Season: Varied, depending on climate, but usually begins in May. I have had aviary birds lay as early as January.

Breeding Age: While the adult plumage is not attained until the second year, first years birds are often fertile.

Clutch Size: 6-12

Incubation Period: 23-24 days.