Swinhoe's Blue Pheasant
Lophera swinhoii (Gould, 1863)
The Swinhoe’s blue pheasant is a large-sized pheasant. The male is entirely covered with glossy dark blue feathers, featuring snowy-white color on feather crest, back of the neck and two long tail feathers in the back. The female has a dark brown back mixed with black spots and dark reddish brown tail feathers. The juvenile is similar to the female but with darker feathers, whose wing feathers are covered with black and white spots.
It dwells in the mountains at an altitude of 2000-3000 meters, at the bottom of primitive broad-leaved forests or mixed woods. It is naturally shy and active cautiously in secrecy. A highly vigilant bird, it often moves silently and is hardly seen. It usually preys in the morning and evening, omnivorously feeding on fruits, buds, tender leaves and seeds, as well as some invertebrates like earthworms and termites.
The breeding season is from April to June every year, laying 2-12 creamy-yellow eggs each time, which takes about 25 days to hatch. The baby bird is chestnut brown on the body and shallow white or reddish brown underneath, with an orange reddish brown crest.