18 Different Types of Pheasants

Different Types of Pheasants
Photo by Wim van ‘t Einde

If you’re ever hiking and see a large bird with colorful plumage, there’s a good chance it’s not just any old bird. It is probably a pheasant! Pheasants are among the most beautiful creatures in the world, but how much do you know about them? 

The best way to enjoy these magnificent birds is to learn how to hunt pheasants. However, you can also arrange for guided tours through an exotic bird tour company.

However, did you know that there are 18 different types of pheasants? These birds vary significantly by size, shape, color, and behavior.

Here are some details about each kind of pheasant to help you spot them in the wild! 

1. Green Pheasant

The Green Pheasant is a famous game bird in Japan and is considered a national treasure; and it’s also the national bird of Cambodia. The males are a stunning green color with a long tail, while the females are brown and much less flashy. 

Furthermore, you can find these birds in woodlands and forests across Asia. They live in low-lying bushes and undergrowth but can fly up into trees when feeling threatened. In Thailand, they’re known as Kik and are one of the different types of pheasants with excellent qualities. 

Also, they have been hunted for food, and their plumage has been used to decorate hats and clothes since ancient times.

They were even called the Lady of the Wood by Japanese noble women, and these women often wore them during hunting expeditions in the early 20th century!

2. Lady Amherst’s Pheasant

The Lady Amherst’s Pheasant is a beautiful bird that is native to China. This pheasant has a long tail and is brightly colored with red, gold, and green feathers. The male of the species is incredibly stunning, with his tail measuring up to three feet long! 

In addition, Lady Amherst’s Pheasant is a famous game bird and is hunted for sport as well as for food. The male, or cock pheasant, is prized for its meat because it is tender and juicy.

The female pheasant usually lays 10-12 eggs at a time in her nest which she builds herself from twigs and leaves. 

Furthermore, she takes care of the eggs until they hatch about two weeks later. Once the eggs are hatched, her chicks are independent within 24 hours. These different types of pheasants have the most explicable features you’ve ever seen!

3. Salvadori’s Pheasant

The Salvadori pheasant is a stunning bird native to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It is one of the 18 different types of pheasants that you can find in Indonesia. This bird has a black body with white stripes running down its sides. 

Furthermore, the male has a red wattle, or fleshy ornament, on its head. Salvadori’s pheasant is an excellent flyer and can reach speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour! Females will lay 5-8 eggs at a time, which take 21 days to hatch. 

However, Male pheasants are polygamous, and females are typically monogamous (one mate). They feed mainly on small animals like mice, lizards, frogs, worms, fruit, etc. 

4. Ring-necked Pheasant

The most popular type of pheasant, the Ring-necked Pheasant, is also one of the largest. They’re found in North America, Europe, and Asia and can live up to 10 years in the wild. Males have a bright red wattle (a fleshy lump on their neck), and females have a more subdued version. 

In addition, both sexes have a white ring around their necks, hence the name. They are primarily ground dwellers, but they can fly when necessary. Which of these different types of pheasants are you looking for in your next hiking trip?

5. Mikado Pheasant

This bird is one of the different types of pheasants and a game bird found in Asia. It is hunted for its meat and feathers, used in fly-fishing. The male Mikado pheasant is a spectacular bird, with long tail feathers reaching up to three feet. 

In contrast, the female is much less showy, with shorter tail feathers and duller plumage. Both sexes have red wattles (fleshy growths) on their necks and red combs (fleshy growths) on their heads.

Mikado pheasants are named after the Japanese emperor who first introduced them to Europe in the late 1800s.

6. Golden Pheasant

This bird is among the different types of pheasants native to eastern China, Taiwan, and South Korea. The Golden Pheasant has a shiny black body with contrasting orange plumage on its wings and tail feathers. They are easy to recognize because they don’t look like any other type of pheasant! 

Although the female is similar in appearance to the male but lacks the long tail plumes, the rosy-throated subspecies is an endangered species previously thought extinct. However, it was rediscovered in a remote area of southern China in 2001. 

Furthermore, the rosy-throated males have pink throats and lavender brown plumage extending from their throat to their chest.

The brown plumage ends at their belly button, where there is another white tuft for camouflage among plants. Females have brown necks and breasts with greyish-brown backsides.

7. Ring-necked Pheasants 

The most popular type of pheasant, the ring-necked variety, is also the state bird of South Dakota. These birds are characterized by their long tail feathers and bright plumage. Male birds boast a metallic green head and neck, while females are drabber in coloration. 

Furthermore, both sexes have a white ring around their necks, hence the name. Ring-necked pheasants typically weigh between two and four pounds.

The Ring-necked pheasants are among the different types of pheasants that will catch your attention. These exceptional birds live in agricultural areas throughout North America and Europe.

8. Reeves’s Pheasant

Of the 18 different types of pheasants, Reeves’s pheasant is one of the most popular. This bird is native to China and gets its name from the man who first introduced it to the West, John Reeves.

Reeves’s pheasant is known for its long tail feathers, which can make up more than 60% of its total body length. 

However, the male of this species is also known for its colorful plumage, which includes shades of brown, orange, and yellow. The female usually has a more drab appearance. Of the 15 different types of pheasants, Reeves’s pheasant is one of the most popular.

9. Silver Pheasant 

The silver pheasant is a bird of prey native to China. It is one of the most prominent members of the pheasant family, and males can reach up to two feet in length. The plumage of the silver pheasant is black and white.

Furthermore, it has long tail feathers that can measure up to three feet in length. Sadly, the silver pheasant is endangered due to habitat loss and hunting pressure.

Recently, the Chinese government banned all trade in wild birds, including peacocks, peahens, and other rare birds. 

While you are traveling in China or anywhere else in Asia,  please refrain from harassing them or taking their photo.

You never know if it’s a rare specimen like the silver pheasant! Any of these different types of pheasants could be endangered species, too; think of that when next you see one.

10. White-eared Pheasant

The white-eared pheasant is a type of game bird found in forests of central and southern China. It is the only member of the genus Crossoptilon.

Also, it is closely related to other members of the Phasianidae family, such as chickens, quails, and partridges. 

Furthermore, the white-eared pheasant is sexually dimorphic, with males having white plumage with black markings on their wings, back, and tail. Females are brownish-grey with dark streaks on their bodies, and both sexes have red facial wattles and combs. 

Also, the white-eared pheasant is a terrestrial bird that feeds on seeds, insects, and other small animals. It nests in trees or bushes and lays 4-10 eggs per clutch.

These different types of pheasants will leave you amazed; people appreciate them more when they see them in person!

11. Blood Pheasant

The blood pheasant is a true pheasant native to central and southern Asia mountain regions. The adult male has striking plumage, a crimson breast and belly, a blue-green head and neck, and dark brown wings. This beautiful bird is also known for its loud, high-pitched call. 

Also, the blood pheasant is a vital game bird in many Asian countries.  As one of the different types of pheasants, it is also hunted for its meat and feathers.

12. Blue-Eared Pheasant

The Blue Eared Pheasant is among the different types of pheasants native to China. The male of the species has blue ear tufts, which give this bird its name. The Blue Eared Pheasant is a beautiful bird known for its long tail feathers. 

Furthermore, the male’s tail can reach up to three feet long! This bird is a famous game bird hunted for sport in many parts of the world. You will surely be impressed by its beauty if you’re lucky enough to see one of these birds in the wild.

13. Kalij Pheasant

The Kalij Pheasant is a beautiful bird native to parts of Asia. It has a long tail and brightly colored plumage. The male Kalij Pheasant is especially striking, with its blue-grey body and redhead. Furthermore, these birds are usually found in forests or near streams.

They feed mainly on seeds, berries, insects, and worms, nest in trees, and lay around 12 eggs yearly. The Kalij Pheasant is one of the different types of pheasants you should be interested in seeing.

14. Malayan Peacock-pheasant

The Malayan peacock-pheasant is one of the different types of pheasants and a  species of bird in the family Phasianidae. The male has a blue-green body with a long tail, while the female is brownish with a shorter tail.

These birds are found in the forests of Southeast Asia and eat insects, fruits, and seeds. Although they are not considered endangered, their populations have declined due to habitat loss. 

15. Pallas’s Pheasant

The Pallas’s pheasant is a medium-sized game bird in the family Phasianidae that lives in temperate regions of central Asia.

It was initially described by Johann Georg Pallas, who first identified it near Astrakhan. Females are slate grey with black streaks, and males are dark chestnut with lighter barring below. 

In addition, they feed mainly on plants but will also take smaller animals when available such as beetles or snails. 

16. Crested Argus

The crested argus is a bird of paradise with an impressive set of tail feathers. The male’s tail can reach up to six feet in length and is used to attract mates. The crested argus is found in the forests of Southeast Asia and is endangered due to habitat loss.

17. Koklass Pheasant

The Koklass Pheasant is a medium-sized bird with males measuring about 30 inches and females measuring approximately 25 inches.

The Koklass has a reddish brown body with black and white barred wings. Its tail is long and pointed as one of the exceptionally different types of pheasants. 

Furthermore, the Koklass is found in the mountains of central Asia, and they are hunted for their meat and feathers. Chinese culture reveres these birds as they eat them as part of a celebration honoring the dead.

These birds were initially imported from China to be used as game birds in Europe but have since become feral populations. 

18. Double-Banded Argus

The double-banded argus is a chicken-sized bird found in Indonesia’s forests. It has a black body with white stripes running down its sides. The male has two blue bands on its wings, while the female only has one. 

In addition, these birds are usually seen in pairs or small groups and are known to be very shy. They avoid human contact. Their nests are high in the forest canopy, so it can take hours for them to fly from their nest when hunters disturb them.

Conclusion

Pheasants are one of the most popular game birds in North America, and they are hunted for their meat and feathers. The 18 different types of pheasants include the Chinese, ring-necked, silver-breasted broadbill, and more. 

Each type has its unique plumage and characteristics. So, whether you’re a hunter or just a bird lover, take some time to learn about the different types of pheasants.

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