The Golden Pheasant is one of the most popular of all pheasant species kept in captivity. It is very beautiful, hardy, easy to keep and great for beginners. The Golden has been kept in captivity since as early as 1740 and perhaps was the first type of pheasant brought to North America. There is evidence that George Washington may have kept them at Mt. Vernon! For being so well known and familiar in captivity, very little is known of their habits in the wild, in the mountains of central China.
This species, along with the Lady Amherst Pheasant (C. amherstiae), make up the group of pheasants called the Ruffed Pheasants, genus Chrysolophus. They are named for their cape or ruff which they spread around their face and neck during courtship. Since these two species are so closely related, many breeders have crossed them, making "pure" Goldens and Amhersts hard to find in captivity.
Other Names: Red Golden
Range: Central China
Status in Wild: Not known at this time
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(l to r): 1-2, Matt Tuttle; 3, Roman Kmicikewycz; 4-5, Saul Villagrana; 6, Jan Harteman; 7-9, Bud & RoxAnn Riggs; 10, Kristin Cowell
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