|Male Golden Pheasant|
|Male Lady Amherst's Pheasant|
In the wild both these species are very hard to see, and their ecology is little known. They seem to prefer dense bamboo thickets and conifers, where they can come and go without being exposed to predators. They are clumsy fliers, and much prefer to run through the cover to escape natural enemies. Females approach and leave their nests very stealthily. The wild diet is probably a mixture of bamboo and other seeds and invertebrates.
|Female Lady Amherst's Pheasant|
Unfortunately, there is one problem with captive Golden and Lady Amherst’s pheasants, in that they readily hybridize. A high percentage of the captive population of Golden’s carries at least some amherstiae blood, and as far as is known all captive amherstiae have some pictus in them, even if they are apparently identical to the wild phenotype.
|Male Reeve's Pheasant|
Next week, the most important native gamebird in Britain after Red Grouse, the Grey Partridge.
(images from wikipedia)