Cheer pheasant

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The cheer pheasant (Catreus wallichi) belongs to the family of Phasianidae. Cheer pheasants are only species under the genus Catreus. They are distributed in the Himalayan region of India, Pakistan and Nepal. In India these birds are found in the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Their distribution is patchy and pockets of small populations are recorded. There is population decline due habitat loss caused by human activities and also due to hunting.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized and evaluated these birds and listed them as "Vulnerable".

The Catreus wallichi is a large bird measuring 90 to 120 cms in length and weighing 1250 to 1800 grams. The males are larger than the female birds. Their plumage is buff colored and the crest is grey. The male cheer pheasant has white breast plumage and both male and female have red facial skin. The Catreus wallichi have long tails of 18 elongated tail feathers.

The cheer pheasants inhabit steep slopes, highlands and scrublands. They are found at an elevation of 6,000 feet and in summer they may go up to 10,000 feet. They feed on roots, tubers, bulbs, seeds, insects and worms. They breed during April-June and the nest has a clutch of 10 to 12 eggs. The males are monogamous.
Catreus wallichii by Amit3333in | CC BY-SA 4.0

Indian birds - Cheer pheasant - Catreus wallichi
Indian birds - Cheer pheasant - Catreus wallichi
Biological classification of Catreus wallichi
Species:C. wallichii
Binomial name:Catreus wallichii
Distribution:Himalayan region of India, Nepal, Kashmir and Pakistan;
Feeding habits:seeds, termites, fruits and invertebrates;
IUCN status listing:Vulnerable

Catreus wallichii by frank wouters | CC BY 2.0

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Image source:
Author: Kuribo | License: CC BY-SA 2.0

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