Pheasant photo courtesy of Wayne Owens
|Scientific Name: Argusianus argus|
|Geographical Range: Malaya,Sumatra,Borneo|
|Diet in the Wild: mostly fruits, grains, and insects|
|Conservation Status: endangered|
|Location in the Zoo: Bird Row|
The argus pheasant has long tail feathers and beautifully ornate eye like designs on the ends of them. The male argus pheasant is astoundingly large, he can reach as much as 3 feet in length. Though the argus pheasant is not as colorful as its relatives the peacock and the palawock pheasant, it is still an interesting looking bird.
The argus pheasant seems to only associate with their own families. Both the male and the female have a part in hatching and raising their young. They are not very social outside of their families unless they are performing the mating ritual.
The argus pheasant has one of the loudest calls of all birds. This call helps to ward off enemies as well as locate family members gone astray.
The argus pheasant has a very interesting mating ritual. The male will build a small arena in a clearing of sticks and twigs. When finished constructing his arena he will call the female pheasant into the ring. The male will then begin to circle around the female getting closer as he does so and flapping his wings. The female is an egg layer usually laying a clutch of about 3-8 eggs. The argus pheasant has also been found to be monogamous in the wild.
Animal at the Zoo:
The argus pheasant has been known to live up to 15 years in the zoo. It is a very laid back bird. During my personal observations at the fort worth zoo the pheasant appeared to be very family oriented and other than that pretty non-social.
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Sources and Links:
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America National Geographic Society, John Fitzpatrick
Birds Robert Bateman and Kathryn Dean
Great Argus Pheasant Dave Krull
WhoZoo Animal Index
Birds at the Fort Worth Zoo