Blue-eared Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

The blue-eared pheasant is not named for blue ears. It has a bluish body and is a member of a group of pheasants called eared pheasants, named for the prominent feather tufts on their head. This species is adapted to living in the high altitudes of the mountainous regions of the Kokonor and Kansu provinces of China. These birds were only found in China until 1929 when they were sent to an avicultural garden in Clères, France. The Zoo houses these Pheasants in our New England Farmyard area.

Description: 

Both sexes have a bluish–gray body with velvety black feathers covering the head, a white streak of feathers starting under the chin and extending back past ears, and scarlet red facial skin. Males have a large, round spur while females have a smaller oblong-shaped spur.

Habitat: 

Coniferous forests.

Range: 

Central China at elevations up to 11,500 feet.

Diet: 

Feeds on grains, seeds, grasses, leaves, roots, wild fruits, nuts and insects.

Life Span: 

Lives up to 27 years in captivity.

Family Life: 

Breeds between April and June. Females lay 6 – 12 eggs that hatch in 26 to 28 days.

Status: 

Stable. The most common of the genus, also the most commonly seen in captivity.