Friday, July 23, 2010

Swinhoe's Pheasant

Swinhoe's Pheasant (Lophura swinhoii)

Sent by suereal, a postcrosser from Taiwan.

This is from Wikipedia : Swinhoe's Pheasant, Lophura swinhoii, is a bird of the pheasant subfamily of Phasianidae family that is endemic to Taiwan, where it inhabits primary broadleaved forest and mature secondary forest at 200-2,300 m. It is commonly referred to as the unofficial "national bird" of Taiwan. There are no known subspecies.

The male is a spectacular bird, with glossy blue-purple chest, belly and rump, brown shoulder, red facial wattles and bright white tail feathers, back of the neck and crest. The female, as is typical with pheasant species, is a dark brown barred colour.

The bird was named after the British ornithologist Robert Swinhoe, who first described the species in 1862.

Swinhoe's Pheasants mainly eat seeds and fruits, as well as insects and other animal matter. The female lays 2-6 eggs which are incubated for 25–28 days. The young can leave the nest from 2–3 days.

Intensive fieldwork in the early 1970s suggested that there might be 5,000-10,000 individuals, although a recent estimate of c.6,500 in Yushan National Park alone indicates that its total population is likely to exceed 10,000 birds. Its numbers are probably stable where it is protected, but may be declining elsewhere because of a variety of pressures on its habitat.

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