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cline01 (1K)

Edward's Pheasant

(Lophura edwardsi)


Lophura edwardsi
Photo by John Corder

Other Names: Annam Pheasant; hatinhensis - Hatinhensis Pheasant, Vo Quy's Pheasant, Vietnamese Fireback

Range: Central Vietnam.

Subspecies: A possible race is the Vietnamese Pheasant L. e. hatinhensis. hatinhensis has a more northern range than edwardsi, which occurs to the south in north-central Vietnam and found in dense coastal-plain forests. DNA studies are ongoing to determine if the Hatinhensis is indeed a subspecies, a true species or perhaps even an inbred population of Edward's Pheasants.

Habitat: Forests

Brief Description: They are a small species, with males being metallic blue with many shades that are seen in the sun light. The crest is white and shorter than most Lophura species; he has bright red facial wattles, red feet and a short tail. Hens are much duller, being overall brown with no visible crest. She has smaller and paler face wattles and red legs. Males will gain their adult plumage the first year.

Status in Wild: Believed extinct for several decades, was recently re-discovered in the forests of central Vietnam. Listed as critically endangered. Hatinhensis is considered endangered.

Interesting Facts: Named for French zoologist and palaeontologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards (1835-1900), who was director of the Natural History Museum in Paris.

Avicultural Data

Status in Aviculture: Despite the very low numbers in the wild, Edward's have always been fairly common in captivity. However, genetic diversity is probably pretty slim.

Breeding Season: Varies among climate and region; usually begins in late March in the central US.

Clutch Size: 4 to 7

Incubation Period: 24-25 days

Misc. Aviculture Notes: A hen can often lay up to three clutches per season if you remove the eggs and place them in an incubator. Many breeders provide branches and cover for the hen to lay her eggs behind. The hens are also reliable mothers. The chicks grow quickly and can be sexed at around three months when the males begin to get their blue feathers.

Visitor Submitted Notes: The following information was provided by John Corder.

Edwards' pheasant seem to love the rain, probably the only pheasant species to do so. This may be related to the fact that it seems to rain so much in their natural habitat. We also find them to be very good parents, provide that they are not kept as a trio. They are amongst the earliest layers in the northern hemisphere, often laying for us in early March, even when there is a frost around. If possible, could you add one word to your section about them, when you mention them being returned to Hanoi Zoo. The World Pheasant Association "Conservation" Breeding Committee was responsible for this programme and, under the Chairmanship of Han Assink, they deserve a great deal of credit for much of the good work which is going on in Vietnam at the moment. You might also wish to mention that there is now an international studbook for this species, run by Alain Hennache of Cleres Bird Gardens in North West France (the original home of Jean Delacour). Genetic research is being undertaken to examine the size of the original gene pool and to try to help maintain genetic variation.


Click on thumbnails for larger views.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Photo Credits
(l to r): 1, Roman Kmicikewycz; 2-6, Dan Cowell.

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.
  • Madge, S., McGowan, P. 2002. Pheasants, Partridges, and Grouse. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
  • 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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