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cline01 (1K)

Bornean Peacock-Pheasant
(Polyplectron schleiermacheri)

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Additional Information

Breeding Season: In captivity the breeding season - February/March to September / October

Breeding Age: 2 years

Clutch Size: 1

Incubation Period:: 21 days

Description - Male: Crown short crested, barred pale grey and black, the centre glossed with green; ear-coverts black; a large ruff of disintegrated feathers barred black and pale grey, tips metallic violet-blue; upper parts as in P. m. malacense but much redder, the ocelli smaller and greener; tail shorter, the ocelli smaller, less closely connected on the coverts; there is a green ocellus on the outer web of the lateral rectrices and a dull black spot on the inner web; throat and upper breast pure white; sides of breast metallic blue-green; centre of the lower breast white, the rest of the upper parts black with whitish shafts and tiny vermiculations; under tail-coverts spotted brown and black patch near the tip. Iris - grey/white; facial skin orange-red; bill and feet dark grey. Like others of the genus, males can develop a number of spurs on each leg.

Description - Female: Similar to P. m. malacense but more reddish generally; tail shorter, the upper coverts are without blue ocelli, those of the rectrices is smaller and ill-defined; the rectrices are irregularly and coarsely barred with black. Iris light brown; facial skin orange, bill and feet grey. Hens do not develop spurs on their legs.

Status in Captivity: Extremely rare in captivity and not believed to be in American aviaries at this time; status in locations outside of Asia is unknown. The species has been recorded as being kept and bred in captivity by the Fitzsimmons/Denton Farms in Livermore, CA in the 1970s but was but was believed to have died out and hybridised with other species of Polyplectron. And recently a small group has been imported and established in the UK by the Conservation Breeding Avicultural Group of the World Pheasant Association.

Misc Notes: This species was first recorded in aviculture in the late 1960s through 1970s in the Fitzsimmons/Denton Farms in the US . They were also the first to successfully breed and rear the species in captivity. There are breeding populations in the UAE and Singapore which have bred the species for many years and from here, additional stock has been sent to other locations for conservation breeding purposes.

The laying season in their own country can be all the year round but in captivity the breeding season can be starting in February/March through to September / October (the timing is similar to the Mountain & Malaysian PP recorded in Europe). The hen will normally make a scrape on the ground, preferably under an overhanging bush or between clumps of grass to lay her single egg.

The Bornean Peacock-pheasant incubates its single egg for 21 days, the hen usually incubates the egg on her own and will brood the chick up to at least 8 weeks of age. The hen sitting on her own egg and hatching it is always preferable at other forms of incubation and similarly brooding her own chick; they learn so many skills, calls and behaviours from the hen during their growing up.

In the wild the male plays no part in incubating and rearing the chick. It is vital to monitor the behaviour of the male during this stage as, in captivity, it may be necessary to part the pair, since some males can be very aggressive towards the chick. Others will happily feed titbits to the chick if they find them on the aviary floor, although seldom from a food bowl.

However, it has been noted that adult males of breeding pairs in adequately sized aviaries do not usually show any aggression to the chick as the hen being the primary caregiver is able to lead her single chick to other areas of the aviary. Young stock do not usually reach maturity until they are at least 2 years old, although males which are not in full colour have been known to sire fertile eggs.

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Bibliography and Further Reading

  • Delacour, J. 1977. The Pheasants of the World. 2nd ed., World Pheasant Association and Spur Publications, Hindhead, U.K.
  • Delacour, J. 1978. Pheasants: Their Care and Breeding. T.F.H. Publishing, Neptune, NJ.
  • Howman, K. 1991. Pheasants of the World: Their Breeding and Management. Hancock House Publishers, Surrey, B.C. Canada.
  • Johnsgard, P.A. 1999. The Pheasants of the World: Biology and Natural History. 2nd ed., Smithsonian Press, Washington D.C.
  • MacKinnon, J., Phillipps, K. 1993. The Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Bali, the Greater Sunda Islands. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Madge, S., McGowan, P. 2002. Pheasants, Partridges, and Grouse. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
  • DSmythies, B.E.; & Davison, G.W.H. 1999. The Birds of Borneo. 4th ed. Natural History Publications (Borneo).
  • Stattersfield, A.J., Crosby, M.J., Long, A.J., Wege, D.C. 1998. Endemic Bird Areas of the World, Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

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