Argus Pheasant

Pheasant photo courtesy of Wayne Owens
Scientific Name: Argusianus argus
Geographical Range: Malaya,Sumatra,Borneo
Habitat: Forests
Diet in the Wild: mostly fruits, grains, and  insects
Conservation Status: endangered
Location in the Zoo: Bird Row

Physical Description:
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.
Social Organization:
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. 
Special Adaptations:
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.
Reproductive Behavior: 
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.
The 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.
Page Author:
Marquita Hafford 
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Sources and Links:

Great Argus Pheasant:

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


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