Impeyan Pheasant

 

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Range:  Himalayan Mountains, Afghanistan, some portions of China

Natural Diet:   Seeds, grasses, and small insects.  Diet may vary by seasonal availability.

Diet at Rain Forest: Prepared pheasant diet supplemented with fresh greens and seed.

Keepers Notes:  This spectacular bird is notable for several reasons, first it is the national bird of Nepal. 

Second, this colorful pheasant was the inspiration for "Kevin" in the movie Up. 

This bird may also be referred to as the Himalayan Monal.

The more common name of the Impeyan pheasant is derived  from Lady Impeya, a British nobleman's wife who lived in India during the early 1700's.  Lady Impeya is often credited with being one of the first people to keep this spectacular bird in captivity. 

 

 

Living in grass meadows during the summer months this bird migrates to more hospitable locations as the harsh winters set in. 

As is the case with many species of birds, the male is substantially more colorful than the females, this difference in appearance is known as dimorphism. 

The physical size of the males and females do not differ greatly.  Sometimes referred to as the "9 color bird" the males in particular are adorned with metallic tones of green, purple, blue, red, and various shades of each as the sun shines on their feathers.  The male bird also possess a unique set of crest feathers that can be described as wispy. 

The female birds, or hens, look showy themselves with mottled tans and light browns intermingling over the entire feather surface.   Females also can sport a beautiful blue patch around the eyes which is actually called into focus more than on the males due to the contrasting muted colors of the females.   The feathers that adorn the female birds are sought after by many fly fishing enthusiasts for their mottled appearance.

 

Kevin from the movie "Up"

 

Males generally do not develop their full color potential for the first 12-18 months of life. 

In zoos this species of pheasant is kept in pairs, there is some field research which points to groups of females following a suitable male in the wild. 

Sensitive to high temperatures this birds must be provided with plenty of shade during the summer months in North America, conversely they can tolerate extremely cold winter temperatures that would normally not be tolerated by most birds. 

Size:  Males and females are similar sized and can be quite large at about 5-6 pounds each, the large barrel shape of the bird makes it appear almost turkey like in form,     

Status in Wild: Numbers are significantly lower than they were just a few short years ago, this bird is still hunted for human consumption as well as the feathers that adorn both the male and female birds.