Yellow Golden Pheasant

(Chrysolophus pictus mut. luteus)

The Yellow Golden, also known as the Ghigi's Golden, is a popular color mutation of the Golden Pheasant occuring in captivity. The Yellow Golden is not a recognized subspecies of the Golden and I have found no reports of any ever seen in the wild. In my opinion, this is the most striking of the mutations. The obvious difference is the color, with yellow replacing the red. The male has retained the dark green mantle from the original form. The blue of the wings has been replaced with brown while the crest and ruff are the same as the normal golden. The tail is pale brown spotted with light yellow. The hen is pale yellow all over with gray barring.

This mutation has its origins in Italy when the late Professor Alessandro Ghigi was presented with one male in 1952. Initial breedings were with a normal hen and normal heterozygous chicks were produced. The heterozygous females were then bred back to the mutant male. By the middle of the 1950s, the yellow mutants were breeding true.

The Yellow Golden was quite expensive when first brought to America in the early 1960s, but now they are reasonably priced, very popular and common in aviaries. Be sure to allow plenty of shade, as the brillant yellow will fade to a dull shade of buff if exposed to direct sunlight.


Yellow Golden Male
Photo by Sara Whitby


Yellow Golden Female
Photo by Roman Kmicikewycz

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