Tibetan eared pheasant

Last updated

Tibetan eared pheasant
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Crossoptilon
C. harmani
Binomial name
Crossoptilon harmani
Elwes, 1881

The Tibetan eared pheasant (Crossoptilon harmani), also called Elwes' eared pheasant, is a species of bird in the family Phasianidae found in southeast Tibet and adjacent northern India, usually between 3,000 and 5,000 m (9,800 and 16,400 ft) elevation, but has been seen down to 2,280 m (7,500 ft) in winter.


Their natural habitats are boreal and temperate forests. Seen in bushy and grassy clearings, rhododendron thickets, and tall dense scrub in valleys, these birds are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting. They form monogamous pair bonds in the spring. Their eggs are laid from May to July, and incubated by the females.


The Tibetan eared pheasant shares many characteristics, such as the short ears and the droopy tail, with the white eared pheasant (C. crossoptilon), as well as having similar calls and hybridising with it in the Salween Valley, so the two may be conspecific. The Tibetan eared pheasant grows to a length between 75 and 85 cm (30 and 33 in), with females being slightly smaller than males. The sexes are similar. The beak is reddish-brown, the irises yellowish-orange, and the bare facial skin is red, as are the legs. The head is topped with a crown of black, dense, short feathers, on either side of which are short, nonprojecting ear tufts. The rest of the head and nape and a thin collar are white. The rest of the body, wings, and tail are bluish-grey, the mantle, neck and breast being of a darker shade, whereas the lower back, rump, upper tail coverts, and belly are paler whitish-grey. The wings are blackish-brown and the tail bluish-black. [2]

Distribution and habitat

Their range is restricted to Tibet, northern India, and northern Bhutan. Their typical habitat is dense scrubby areas in river valleys, grassy hillsides, and the verges of both coniferous and deciduous woodlands. Although sometimes found at elevations as low as 2,400 m (7,900 ft), they usually occur between about 3,000 and 5,000 m (9,800 and 16,400 ft). [1]


These pheasants usually form groups of up to 10 individuals. They feed on the ground, foraging through the plant debris and grasses near woodland edges and among the rhododendron and juniper scrub. In areas where they are hunted, they may be elusive, retreating into the undergrowth or flying off downhill when scared, but where unmolested, can be quite bold. The birds are believed to be monogamous, with breeding taking place between May and July. One nest was discovered under a fallen tree trunk; it was made from bark and pulp with a mossy lining. The female seems to be solely responsible for incubating the eggs, [1] but both sexes have been observed feeding the chicks. [2]


C. harmani is rated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as being a "near-threatened species" because its natural habitat is being cleared, and in many areas, the birds are hunted. Another factor in the possible decline of the population is a reduction in the number of suitable places for roosting. [1]

Related Research Articles

Pheasant bird in family Phasianidae

Pheasants are birds of several genera within the subfamily Phasianinae, of the family Phasianidae in the order Galliformes. Though they can be found world over in introduced populations, the pheasant genera native range is restricted to Asia.

Green pheasant Species of bird

The green pheasant, also known as Japanese green pheasant, is an omnivorous bird native to the Japanese archipelago, to which it is endemic. Some taxonomic authorities still consider it a subspecies. It is the national bird of Japan.

White eared pheasant Species of bird

The white eared pheasant also known as Bee's pheasant is a species of "eared pheasant" that get its name because its colouration is white and has the prominent ear tufts of the genus, not because it has white ears. The indigenous people of Himalaya call it shagga, meaning snow fowl. This gregarious bird lives in large flocks, foraging on alpine meadows close to or above the snowline throughout the year. C. crossoptilon is found in China, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Tibet, where it tends to inhabit mixed forests and can be found around Buddhist monasteries.

Mikado pheasant Species of bird

The Mikado pheasant is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds. Sometimes considered an unofficial national bird of Taiwan, a pair of Mikado pheasants and Yushan National Park, one of the areas it is known to inhabit, is depicted in the 1000 dollar bill of the Taiwanese dollar.

Himalayan monal Species of bird

The Himalayan monal, also known as the Impeyan monal and Impeyan pheasant, is a pheasant native to Himalayan forests and shrublands at elevations of 2,100–4,500 m (6,900–14,800 ft). It is part of the family Phasianidae and is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. It is the national bird of Nepal, where it is known as the danphe or danfe.

Tibetan partridge Species of bird

The Tibetan partridge is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes. They are found widely across the Tibetan Plateau and have some variations in plumage across populations. They forage on the ground in the sparsely vegetated high altitude regions, moving in pairs during the summer and in larger groups during the non-breeding season. Neither males nor females have spurs on their legs.

Satyr tragopan Species of bird

The satyr tragopan also known as the crimson horned pheasant, is a pheasant found in the Himalayan reaches of Pakistan, India, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. They reside in moist oak and rhododendron forests with dense undergrowth and bamboo clumps. They range from 8,000 to 14,000 feet in summer and 6,000 feet in winter. The male is about 70 cm long.

Brown eared pheasant Species of bird

The brown eared pheasant is a large, 96– to 100-cm-long, dark brown pheasant endemic to the mountain forests of northeastern China. The species was first described by Robert Swinhoe in 1863. It has stiff white ear coverts behind the eyes, which look like a moustache. The crown is black with red bare facial skin and its tail of twenty-two elongated white feathers is curved, loose and dark-tipped. Both sexes are similar in plumage.

Blue eared pheasant Species of bird

The blue eared pheasant is a large, up to 96 cm (38 in) long, dark blue-grey pheasant with velvet black crown, red bare facial skin, yellow iris, long white ear coverts behind the eyes, and crimson legs. Its tail of 24 elongated bluish-grey feathers is curved, loose, and dark-tipped. Both sexes are similar with the slightly larger male.

The buff-breasted buttonquail is the largest and possibly the rarest of the buttonquail. This species is endemic to Cape York Peninsula, in Queensland, Australia.

Madagascan owl species of bird

The Madagascan owl, also known as the Madagascar owl or Madagascar long-eared owl, is a medium-sized owl endemic to the island of Madagascar. It is sometimes considered to be conspecific with the long-eared owl.

Sclaters monal Species of bird

Sclater's monal, Lophophorus sclateri, also known as the crestless monal, is a large, approximately 68 centimetres (27 in) long, pheasant of the east Himalayan region. As other monals, the male is a colorful bird. It has a highly iridescent purplish-green upperparts plumage, short and curly metallic green crown feathers, copper neck, purplish-black throat, white back, blue orbital skin, yellowish-orange bill and brown iris. In the nominate subspecies, the tail is white with a broad chestnut band, while the tail is entirely white in L. s. arunachalensis from western Arunachal Pradesh in India. The crestless female is mostly a dark brown bird with a white throat and tail-tip, dull bluish orbital skin and a pale yellow bill.

Speckled warbler species of bird

The speckled warbler is a species of bird in the family Acanthizidae. It is endemic to eastern Australia. Its natural habitat is temperate forests.

White-browed scrub robin species of bird

The white-browed scrub robin, also known as the red-backed scrub-robin, is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae. It is native to sub-Saharan Africa, especially East and southern Africa. Within range, its Turdus-like song is one of the often-heard sounds of the bush. The flitting of the tail is characteristic of this species, but also of some near relatives.

Bearded scrub robin species of bird

The bearded scrub robin, also known as the eastern bearded scrub robin, is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae. It is found in eastern and southern Africa.

Yellow-throated honeyeater species of bird

The yellow-throated honeyeater is a species of passerine bird in the honeyeater family Meliphagidae. It is similar in behaviour and appearance to the white-eared honeyeater and is endemic to Australia's island state of Tasmania. It was formerly considered a pest of orchards.

Mountain wagtail species of bird

The mountain wagtail, also known as the long-tailed wagtail or grey-backed wagtail, is a species of wagtail of the family Motacillidae from sub-Saharan Africa.

Brown-eared woodpecker species of bird

The brown-eared woodpecker is a species of bird in the family Picidae. It is native to tropical forests in western central Africa. There are two subspecies; C. c. caroli in the eastern part of its range and C. c. arizela, present from Guinea-Bissau in the west to Nigeria in the east. This bird has a wide range and is a common species in some areas, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern".

Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests

The Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests is a temperate coniferous forests ecoregion which is found in the middle and upper elevations of the eastern Middle Himalayas, in western Nepal, Bhutan and northern Indian states including Arunachal Pradesh.

Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests Ecoregion (WWF)

The Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests are a temperate coniferous forests ecoregion of the middle to upper elevations of the eastern Himalayas and southeast Tibetan Plateau. The ecoregion occurs in southeastern Tibet Autonomous Region, China, in northern and eastern Arunachal Pradesh, India, and extreme eastern Bhutan.


  1. 1 2 3 4 BirdLife International (2015). "Crossoptilon harmani". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2016.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. 1 2 McGowan, Phil; Madge, Steve (2010). Pheasants, Partridges & Grouse: Including buttonquails, sandgrouse and allies. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 313–314. ISBN   978-1-4081-3566-2.