Pheasants & Peafowl

Pheasants are among the world's most beautiful birds. All but one of the approximately 49 species, and many more subspecies, of pheasants are native to Asia. They inhabit a variety of habitats, from the snowy Himalayas to the steamy jungles of Indonesia.

Pheasants have long been avicultural subjects. Egyptian pharaohs kept peafowl and Alexander the Great brought them to Greece some 2,500 years ago. It is reported that George Washington even kept Golden Pheasants at Mount Vernon. Their adaptability to aviculture is important in their survival. One species, the Edward's Pheasant, was once believed to be extinct in the jungles of Vietnam, but there were sustainable populations in aviaries and re-introduction programs are now in place. The Cheer Pheasant from Pakistan and Swinhoe's Pheasant from Taiwan are two species who have benefited from re-introductions of captive-bred birds. However, pheasants have also been one of the most mismanaged family of birds in captivity and the need for profit in American aviculture has lead to a number of hybrids, inbreeding issues, mutations and complete disappearances of species and subspecies. While mass production has been promoted in America for years, we must now realize that this is not an effective conservation tool and we need to establish a conservation breeding approach or we will lose these species.

This section is an introduction to the pheasants of the world and their captive management. Each species is described with natural history information, avicultural data, images, and web links. It is my hope that with this site people will become aware of the plight of these wonderful birds. It is highly recommended for the visitor to advance their knowledge by using the references and further readings recommended on the species sheets. These sheets are only an introduction and if a person is interested in pheasant aviculture, please read all available material and books before purchasing your birds.

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The sixteen genera of pheasants

Blood Pheasant (genus Ithaginis)
One species:

Cheer (genus Catreus)
One species:

Congo Peafowl (genus Afropavo)
One species:

Crested Argus (genus Rheinartia)
One Species:

Eared-Pheasants (genus Crossoptilon)
Four species:

Gallo-Pheasants (genus Lophura)
Ten species: (Several subspecies are sometimes classed as distinct species; one species now considered a hybrid - imperialis)

Great Argus (genus Argusianus)
Two Species:

Junglefowl (genus Gallus)
Four species:

Koklass (genus Pucrasia)
One species:

Long-tailed Pheasants (genus Syrmaticus)
Five species:

Monals (genus Lophophorus)
Three species:

Peacock-Pheasants (genus Polyplectron)
Eight Species

Peafowl (genus Pavo)
Two species:

Ruffed Pheasants (genus Chrysolophus)
Two species:

Tragopans (genus Tragopan)
Five species:

True Pheasants (genus Phasianus)
Two Species: (Many subspecies)

Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT A CATALOG OR PRICE LIST. Any requests for items, birds, eggs or supplies for sale will go unanswered, check out the GBWF Classifieds for possible surplus. Again, this site is not a catalog or price list!!!!

Information found on the species accounts/fact sheets have come from personal experience, personal communications, publications and books. The information found within is designed as an introduction to game bird aviculture. I cannot guarantee what has worked for one will work for another. These birds can be unpredictable, and we learn something new from them every day. Those interested in this hobby for the first time should check with their local conservation departments for permit information before purchasing birds. Remember, game birds are living creatures, not show pieces or ornaments. We encourage all interested in this hobby to provide optimal care for their birds. Beginners to this hobby should learn as much as they can from other keepers, books and publications before purchasing birds. Many forums are available through the internet, and many keepers will be happy to share their personal experiences about a particular species. If you cannot properly house or care for these birds, DO NOT buy any. We do not encourage hybridization of any pure species or subspecies of wildlife. Responsible animal ownership is the goal and education is the key. The webmaster of this site does not offer any birds for sale. will always be a work in progress, with new information added often.

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