The Golden Pheasant or “Chinese Pheasant”, (Chrysolophus pictus) is a gamebird of the order Galliformes (gallinaceous birds) and the family Phasianidae. It is native to forests in mountainous areas of western China but feral populations have been established in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

The adult male is 90-105 cm in length, its tail accounting for two-thirds of the total length. It is unmistakable with its golden crest and rump and bright red body. The deep orange “cape” can be spread in display, appearing as an alternating black and orange fan that covers all of the face except its bright yellow eye, with a pinpoint black pupil.

Males have a golden-yellow crest with a hint of red at the tip. The face, throat, chin, and the sides of neck are rusty tan. The wattles and orbital skin are both yellow in colour, and the ruff or cape is light orange. The upper back is green and the rest of the back and rump are golden-yellow in colour. The tertiaries are blue whereas the scapulars are dark red. Another characteristic of the male plumage is the central tail feathers which are black spotted with cinnamon as well as the tip of the tail being a cinnamon buff. The upper tail coverts are the same colour as the central tail feathers. Males also have a scarlet breast, and scarlet and light chestnut flanks and underparts. Lower legs and feet are a dull yellow.

The female (hen) is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage similar to that of the female Common Pheasant. She is darker and more slender than the hen of that species, with a proportionately longer tail (half her 60-80 cm length). The female’s breast and sides are barred buff and blackish brown, and the abdomen is plain buff. She has a buff face and throat. Some abnormal females may later in their lifetime get some male plumage. Lower legs and feet are a dull yellow.


  • margotk
    margotkover 5 years ago


  • thanks so much margot!

    – Bobby McLeod

  • Jamaboop
    Jamaboopover 5 years ago

    What a gorgeous bird, and what a terrific photo of him!!! Outstanding!!!

  • thank you bette!

    – Bobby McLeod

  • SandeElkins
    SandeElkinsover 5 years ago

    This fellow is just gorgeous!! Wonderful capture!

  • sande…thanks for stopping by!

    – Bobby McLeod

  • Margestuff
    Margestuffover 5 years ago

    Beautiful, and a very informative description. gorgeous bird he looks royal.

  • thanks a bunch marge!

    – Bobby McLeod

  • linifer
    liniferover 5 years ago

    c-o-n-g-r-a-t-u-l-a-t-i-o-n-s !….. on the feature!!!

  • thanks so much!

    – Bobby McLeod

  • stillme
    stillmeover 5 years ago

    brilliant colours!

  • thanks for that!

    – Bobby McLeod

  • rodsfotos
    rodsfotosover 5 years ago

    They are so colourful and not easy to photograph as sharp and detailed as this, from my attempts at our local zoo, they are always on the move,
    Regards, Rod.

  • hey rod…thanks a stack man! that’s true….usually they are darting through the underbrush…but this guy stopped and posed for about 2 minutes…lucky me!

    – Bobby McLeod

  • WaleskaL
    WaleskaLover 5 years ago

    Lovely! gorgeous!

  • thanks for looking…glad you like!

    – Bobby McLeod

  • lanebrain photography
    lanebrain phot...over 5 years ago

    Bobby, Fantastic work…wow look at all the colors and the details that you have captured!! I sure am glad I found your work! Terry

  • hard to shoot these guys…they are so fidgity and always on the go…thanks terry!

    – Bobby McLeod

  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaover 4 years ago


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