1909. Phasianus elegans

(1909) Phasianus elegans.


Phasianus elegans Elliott, Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) vi, p. 312 (1870) (Setchuan); Blanf. & Oates, iv, p, 81.

Vernacular names. Wucru (Kachin); Too-ka (Tibet).

Description.— Adult male. Crown from forehead to nape and hind-neck bronze-green, the ear-tufts darker and more blue ; chin and throat deep green; neck in front and on the sides deep purple-blue with purple-copper reflections in some lights, this colour passing round the base of the neck as a collar behind ; upper back golden chestnut, changing into deep chestnut on the back and scapulars ; feathers next the neck centred with black and the tips notched with the same ; feathers of the back and scapulars with black centres outlined in buff and obsoletely notched at the tips with black; lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts pale green-grey with subterminal bars of lustrous emerald-green, each feather black at the base marked with crescentic buff bands; tail-feathers rufous-brown with broad black bars, narrowly edged with golden-buff; the central feathers have wide borders of pink-grey, across which the bars become dull crimson-purple; on each succeeding pair the pink edges are reduced in width and are absent on the outermost pair, or two or three outer pairs. Wing-coverts pale green-grey with an emerald gloss ; innermost greater coverts splashed with maroon, broadly on the outer webs, narrowly on the inner; quills brown, primaries barred with buff on the outer webs and with broken bars of the same on the inner webs; secondaries broadly edged with olive-brown and irregularly marked with buff on both webs; breast deep glossy green, each feather narrowly margined with velvety black and with black terminal notches; -flanks and sides of the breast golden-copper, almost purple-copper next the breast, with black edges and terminal black shaft-streaks; vent, thighs and centre of abdomen dull brown; under tail-coverts chestnut marked with black.

Colours of soft parts. " Legs and feet of the male lead-colour, inclining to flesh-colour; naked skin round the eye scarlet" (Elliot).

Measurements. Wing 210 to 229 mm.; tail 891 to 487 mm.; tarsus 63 to 68 mm.; culmen about 28 to 32 mm.

Female. Grown and neck dark brown or black with narrow bars of buff, sometimes tinged chestnut; back and scapulars chestnut with white sub-edging, fine black edging and a bold bar of black between the chestnut and the white; remainder of upper plumage pale grey-brown with narrow buff edges and black centres, here and there a tinge of chestnut showing ; central tail-feathers pale olive-brown with narrow pale cross-bars broadly margined on either side with black; remaining tail-feathers dull chestnut with similar bars ; chin and throat pale buff, obsoletely barred with dark brown ; fore-neck and upper breast with bolder bars and centres of black, washed with a pinkish tinge; lower breast, flanks and abdomen dull greyish-buff with numerous faint vermiculations of grey-brown and with conspicuous centres of deep chestnut-brown; under tail-coverts the same marked with chestnut.

Measurements. Wing 198 to 208 mm.; tail 246 to 272 mm.

Distribution. Western Setchuan, Eastern Tibet at least as far West as Batang; Yunnan, Kachin Hills, North Shan States and part of South Shan States as far South as 21°.

Nidification. Unknown. Seven eggs laid by captive birds in Inglis's aviary are like those of the common Phasianus colchicus, though less pyriform. In colour they are pale coffee-brown and two eggs given to me measure 44.4 x 34.3 and 44.4 x 34.0 mm. Forrest took five eggs at Lichiang in Yunnan.

Habits. Stone's Pheasant is common from Ta-tsien-lu to West Yunnan between 4,000 to 8,000 feet, either in thin open forest or in mixed scrub and bracken on broken hill-sides. They have a harsh guttural chuckle but also a crow just like that of our English bird. It is found singly, in pairs or in small coveys. Davies found them at Li-tang up to 10,500 feet.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.5 1928.
Title in Book: 
1909. Phasianus elegans
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Stones Pheasant
Phasianus colchicus elegans
Vol. 5

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith