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Grey peacock pheasant

Scientific Name: Polyplectron bicalcaratum

Grey peacock pheasants get their name from the striking green-blue ‘eye’ pattern on the feathers of their back. The rest of the plumage is a dark grey with white speckling. Males have a crest that can be extended forwards to cover their beak. Females are similar to males, but with a smaller crest and duller plumage. Grey peacock pheasants live in the dense forests of South-east Asia.

Breeding occurs between March and June. A nest is made in a hollow usually sited at the base of a bamboo clump. There is little information on the breeding habits of this bird in the wild, but it is believed to lay just two eggs per clutch. The chicks are similar in appearance to adult females.

The diet of the grey peacock pheasant is primarily fruits and seeds such as figs, plums and bamboo seeds. They will also take insects, particularly termites, and will forage in villages for rice and grains.

The grey peacock pheasant is considered common throughout it’s range and is classed as Least Concern. However, the population is thought to be in decline because of habitat destruction and collection for the pet trade. It is protected by CITES which means that these birds cannot be caught and traded as pets.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Distribution: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam
  • Habitat: Tropical Forest
  • Diet: Fruit, Insects, Seeds
  • Height: 45 – 75cm
  • Weight: 400 – 900g
  • No. of young: 2

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