Silver Pheasant

Lophura nycthemera

The picture shows a silver pheasant in the zoo Hellabrunn. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
  • Weight
    up to 1,6 kg
  • Habitat
    Mountain forests, scrublands

Polygamous discord

Silver pheasant males are polygamous. They typically mate with two to five females. The females lay their eggs in a scape in the ground hidden by dense vegetation. If a hen leaves the nest to find food, it may happen that the other hens seize the opportunity to pounce on the eggs in the unprotected nest. The males also love the taste of eggs and may pose a threat to their own offspring.

A silver pheasant stands in profile.

Symbol of beauty

The silver pheasant is considered one of the most beautiful pheasants, ensuring its popularity among bird lovers. Its beauty has inspired Chinese paintings and poetry dating back 5,000 years. Other members of the pheasant family are also admired for their magnificent plumage. Army commanders in China wore the tail feathers of the brown eared pheasant as a sign of courage when they went into battle.

Since ancient times, travellers to China have brought back the silver pheasant to their home country as a pet or game bird. Today the bird can be found in much of Europe.