Phasianus elegans

Stone's Pheasant.

Phasianus elegans.

Stone's pheasant is one of the numerous subspecies of our common European pheasant (P. colchicus), and the hen is not noticeably distinct from the female of that bird; the cock also is likely to be considered the same on a casual view, but it really rather approaches the Chinese ring-necked race (P. torquatus), having the same lavender back and patches on the wings. There is, however, no white ring round the neck, and the breast is not coppery-gold as in the common pheasant and ring-neck, but dark green. Thus a broad band of richly glossed dark colour runs right down the under-parts, completely separating the brassy-chestnut of the flanks. From Mrs. Hume's pheasant, the only one similar in form found with us, the present bird is distinguished at once by not having the white bars on the wing.

Stone's pheasant is found at an elevation of about 5,000 feet in the Northern Shan States, as well as at Momien in Yunnan, and in Szechuen. Its habits present nothing worthy of special mention ; in Yunnan it was found frequenting grassy hills ; and it may be remarked that the pheasants of this type naturally affect grass, reeds, and scrub-jungle, not high forest. .

The Chinese ring-neck, which, subject to local variations, ranges from Kobdo to Canton, is the best all-round sporting bird in the world; it is now thoroughly mixed up with the original pheasant brought by the ancients into Europe from Asia Minor, and most English pheasants show traces of intermixture with it. It has been established also in places so wide apart as Oregon, New Zealand, Samoa, and St. Helena, and is often imported alive into Calcutta, where I have known an unmated hen lay and try to hatch her eggs. Such an adaptable bird is well worthy of introduction almost anywhere, and might be tried in the Ceylon hills and in the Nilgiris.

Indian Sporting Birds
Finn, Frank. Indian Sporting Birds. Edwards, 1915.
Title in Book: 
Phasianus elegans
Book Author: 
Frank Finn
Page No: 
Common name: 
Stones Pheasant
Phasianus colchicus elegans

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