Grain-eating birds

Diamond pheasant

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Diamond Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae)

The Diamond Pheasant is a bird of the Hens order and the Pheasants family. The species inhabits south-west China and Myanmar, but has been introduced elsewhere, for example England, where there is a self-sustaining but declining wild population, most common in Bedfordshire.

The first specimen of this kind was sent to London by Lady Sarah Amherst in 1828 - wife of the Chief Governor - William Pitt Amherst, 1st Earl of Amherst. In English, the pheasant's literal name is "the Lady Amherst's Pheasant”.

The adult male reaches 100 - 120 cm in length, and its tail reaches 80 cm of the total body length. Distinctive for the species are the black and silver feathers on the head, the long gray tail and the body with red, white and yellow coloration. This kind is closely related to the golden pheasant.

The female is much less attractive with uniform brown plumage over the whole body, similar to that of the female common pheasant, but with subtle stripes. It is also very similar to the female golden pheasant, but with a darker head and monochromatic underwings.

Despite the obvious presence of the male, these birds can hardly be seen in their natural habitats, which consist of dense, dark forests with dense low vegetation. As a result, little is known about their behavior in the wild.

Although they can fly well, they prefer to run. If they feel threatened, they can suddenly take off from the ground at high speed, making distinctive sounds.

During the breeding season, males make raspy sounds.

They eat seeds, leaves and invertebrates that they collect from the ground, but at night they sleep in trees.

Due to the wide spreading of the species in its natural habitat, the diamond pheasant is included in the Red List of protected species as a non-threatened species.