The Lady Amherst’s pheasant is a bird of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae. The genus name is from Ancient Greek khrusolophos, “with golden crest”.
The English name and amherstiae commemorates Sarah Countess Amherst, wife of William Pitt Amherst, Governor General of Bengal, who was responsible for sending the first specimen of the bird to London in 1828.
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Despite the male’s showy appearance, these birds are very difficult to see in their natural habitat, which is dense, dark forests with thick undergrowth. Consequently, little is known of their behaviour in the wild.
The species is native to south-western China and Burma, but has been introduced elsewhere, and has established a self-supporting, but now declining, feral population in England, the stronghold of which was in West Bedfordshire.
Lady Amherst first introduced the ornamental pheasant on her estates, near the Duke of Bedford’s Woburn Abbey, where they were also shot for game and the introduced populations in England will interbreed.
Image: By Sylfred1977 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Text: Wikipedia contributors. “Lady Amherst’s pheasant.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Jun. 2016. Web. 5 Sep. 2016.
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