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Kalij Pheasant

From Opus

Subspecies L. i. hamiltonii, malePhoto © by dineshaggCorbett National Park, India
Subspecies L. i. hamiltonii, male
Photo © by dineshagg
Corbett National Park, India
Lophura leucomelanos


[edit] Identification

Male 63–74 cm (24¾-29 in); female 50–60 cm (19¾-23½ in) Male (Nominate)

  • Red eyering
  • Bluish-black upperparts plumage
  • White speckles from lower back to uppertail-coverts
  • Whitish breast
  • Blackish-brown wings and vent
  • Tail: Bluish-black above and black underneath
Subspecies L. i. hamiltonii, femalePhoto © by Alok TewariDalhousie (Alt. 7000 ft above MSL), Himachal Pradesh, India, June-2014
Subspecies L. i. hamiltonii, female
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Dalhousie (Alt. 7000 ft above MSL), Himachal Pradesh, India, June-2014


  • Reddish-brown overall plumage
  • Feathers have white edges, giving a scalloped appearance
  • Black tail has chestnut central retrices

Juvenile: dark brown overall plumage, with white spots on the underparts

[edit] Variations

The western Himalayan variety have white crowns compared to the black crowns of the eastern species.

[edit] Distribution

North India to South0East Asia.

Hawaii (Introduced)

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Subspecies L. i. hamiltonii, juvenile malePhoto © by Alok TewariRanikhet, Alt. 6800 ft., Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, April-2018
Subspecies L. i. hamiltonii, juvenile male
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Ranikhet, Alt. 6800 ft., Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, April-2018

There are 9 subspecies[1]:

  • L. l. hamiltonii - Western Himalayas (Indus River to western Nepal)
  • L. l. leucomelanos - Subtropical pine, sal, and moist temperate forests of Nepal
  • L. l. melanota - Sikkim and western Bhutan
  • L. l. moffitti - Range unknown; possibly central Bhutan
  • L. l. lathami - East Bhutan and northern India to Myanmar
  • L. l. williamsi - West Myanmar (east to Irrawaddy River)
  • L. l. oatesi - South Myanmar (Arakan Yoma Mountains)
  • L. l. lineata - South Myanmar (east of Irrawaddy River) to north-western Thailand
  • L. l. crawfurdii - South-East Myanmar (Tenasserim) and peninsula Thailand

[edit] Habitat

Subspecies crawfurdiiPhoto © by robby thaiKaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand, April 2016
Subspecies crawfurdii
Photo © by robby thai
Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand, April 2016

The are to be found in a variety of habitat types, from evergreen to deciduous forests, thickets and shrubs; also areas under cultivation. Heights range from around sea level to over 2000 metres.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Omnivorous. Their varied diet consists of bamboo seeds, acorns, figs, forest yams, ripe fruit, small snakes and termites.

They forage early morning and late afternoons in fields and on tracks, scratching around also for roots and tubers. Usually in groups numbering up to 20 birds.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Oiseaux-birds

[edit] External Links


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