Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) This must be one of the most under-rated exhibits at Singapore’s River Safari, being grossly over-shadowed by its 2 highly popular neighbours – the pandas and red pandas in the Giant Panda Forest.
Hailing from the mountains of Central China, the name of this bird is derived from the male’s beautiful red and golden plumage. Also known as the Chinese pheasant, it generally feeds on the ground for grains, leaves and invertebrates, and prefers to run even though it can fly in short spurts. Golden pheasants are one of the most popular of all pheasant species kept in captivity because of its beautiful plumage and hardy nature.
Despite the male’s showy appearance, these hardy birds are very difficult to see in their natural habitat, which is dense, dark young conifer forests with sparse undergrowth. They are susceptible to bleaching if they are exposed to sun for long amounts of time. The shadowed forests they live in protect their vibrant colors.
Female Golden Pheasant The hen is much duller in coloration than the male, brown with dark barring and a buff face and throat.
Do admire its beauty the next time you are at River Safari :)