Tuesday, December 2

Blood pheasant

   ›      ›   Blood pheasant - Ithaginis cruentus.

Blood pheasant belongs to the family of pheasants, Phasianidae. Blood pheasants are the only species in the genus Ithaginis. These pheasants are fairly common in Himalayas of India, Nepal, Bhutan and China. Of the recognized twelve subspecies, two subspecies, I. c. affinis and I. c. kuseri are found in India. In India these pheasants are found in Sikkim, Darjeeling Hills, and Arunachal Pradesh.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has evaluated them as of "Least Concern".

These Ithaginis birds are relatively small and are about 50 cm in length. They have a short tail and a strong black bill. Usually feathers can be seen between the eye and bill. The face is colored crimson. They have a small crest with colored feathers. The male bird is slightly larger than the female. The females are dull brown in color.

The habitat of the Indian Ithaginis is the mountains of Nepal, Sikkim, India, Myanmar and Tibet. These birds live in mixed coniferous forests and scrub jungles near the snowline. They move to higher elevations in the summer and in winter with increased snowfall, they move to lower elevations in India. These birds feed on pine seeds, green shoots, pods, berries, snails, butterflies, flies and beetles.

Indian bird blood pheasant - Ithaginis cruentus
Indian bird -Blood pheasant - Ithaginis cruentus
Biological classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Galliformes
Family:Phasianidae
Subfamily:Phasianinae
Genus:Ithaginis
Species:I. cruentus
Binomial name:Ithaginis cruentus
Distribution: eastern Himalayas, ranging across India, Nepal, Bhutan and China;
Feeding habits: seeds, berries, fruits, and buds;
IUCN status listing:Least Concern

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blood_Pheasant.jpg
http://flickr.com/photos/31003918@N05/5824423453
Author: Allan Drewitt | License: CC BY 2.0

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