The Most Extravagantly Colored Pheasants and The Most Brilliantly Colored Turkeys

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Pheasants are seed and insect-eating birds and they are among the most brightly colored group of birds in the world. Of the 11 genera there are 35 species of pheasants. Here are the most colorful species. Males are much more colorful than females.

Green Pheasant (Phasianus versicolor)

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The male Green Pheasant is quite unique for its distinctive dark green plumage, violet neck, red face and purple-green tail. This colorful pheasant is endemic to Japan and is the ‘national bird’ of Japan. It is also informally called Japanese Pheasant.

Crested Fireback (Lophura ignita)

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The brightly colored Crested Fireback can be found in Malaysia, Thailand and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. It has a dark crest with blue-black plumage. The iris is red and the face is blue. There are 4 known subspecies of the Crested Fireback. It is regarded as a threatened species due to habitat loss and over-hunting.

Chinese Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)

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Obviously, one of the most brilliantly colored creatures in the avian world is the Chinese Pheasant or more popularly known as Golden Pheasant. This pretty gamebird is endemic to China and had been introduced to other parts of the globe.

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae)

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The beautifully colored Lady Amherst’s Pheasant that is endemic to China and Myanmar had also been introduced elsewhere in the world. It feeds on grain, leaves and invertebrates.

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

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The attractive Common Pheasant is endemic to Russia and has been introduced in many parts of the world as a gamebird. It is also commonly known as Ring-necked Pheasant.

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This popular gamebird is one of the most hunted birds in the world. Although it is not native to the US, it is the state bird of South Dakota.

Palawan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis)

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The Palawan Peacock-pheasant is handsome medium-sized bird that can grow up to 50 cm in length is native to the island of Palawan, Philippines. It is also commonly known as the Napoleon Peacock-pheasant

Elliot’s Pheasant (Syrmaticus ellioti)

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The Elliot’s Pheasant of China is a large pheasant that can grow up to 80 cm in length. It feeds on seeds, berries and leaves. It is also informally called Bar-backed Pheasant. It is a threatened species due to habitat loss and human consumption.

Reeves’ Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii)

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Another unique-looking pheasant that is native to China is the large Reeves’ Pheasant. It was named after John Reeves, a British naturalist, who first introduced live specimens to Europe in the early 1800s. The Guinness World Records recognized this impressive pheasant in 2008 for having the longest natural tail feather of any bird species measuring 2.4 m or 8 ft long.


Turkeys, either wild or domesticated, are large birds that are featured prominently in the menu of Canada and US holidays of Thanksgiving and that of Christmas in many countries.

Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata)

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The beautiful Ocellated Turkey of the Yucatan Peninsula is a species of turkey related to the Wild Turkey. This large bird grows to a length of 48 inches with an average weight of 11 lbs in males. This large bird can also fly swiftly and powerfully but prefers to run to escape danger. This colorful turkey typically begins his singing a few minutes before sunrise.

Bourbon Red

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The pretty Bourbon Red, a breed of domestic turkey, is named for its unique reddish plumage and from its place of origin – Bourbon County in Kentucky, USA. A male Bourbon Red can weigh up to 15 kg. It has also been called Kentucky Reds and Bourbon Butternuts.

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

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The glossy Wild Turkey, which is endemic to North America, is the heaviest turkey in the world with male species reaching a weight of 17.2 kg. Surprisingly, this large turkey is an agile flier. It feeds on fruits and nuts. Occasionally it feeds on amphibians and small reptiles. At present, there are about 7 million Wild Turkeys in the US.

Royal Palm

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Most breed of domestic turkeys are raised for their meat. But the Royal Palm is best known as an ornamental bird. This turkey with unique appearance usually weighs up to 22 lb. This turkey breed is called Crollweitzer, Pied and Black-laced White in Europe. The Royal Palm is regarded as endangered breed.

Bronze Turkey

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The attractive-looking Bronze Turkey, a domesticate turkey breed, get its name from its plumage which bears an iridescent bronze-like sheen. This breed of turkey is very popular in the United States especially in the early history of the country up to the mid-20th century.

See also

Other articles about birds


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