The Golden Pheasant – 10,000 Birds

The total scientific identify of the Golden Pheasant is Chrysolophus pictus, with the “Chrysolophus” half that means “with golden crest” whereas “pictus” means painted. That seems like a wise identify, however then once more, Woman Amherst’s Pheasant (the topic of an earlier submit) can be within the genus “Chrysolophus” regardless of not having a golden crest in any respect.

A company known as the Carolina Avian Analysis and Training states that “in the event you google the highest ten most stunning birds on this planet, it [the Golden Pheasant] all the time makes the record.”

True or not? Having as soon as been burned by mistaken info on the web, I made a decision to examine this for myself. Right here is the results of the primary few web sites {that a} Google search introduced up:
A-Z animals: Not included within the prime 10
The Mysterious World: Included and taking the No. 1 spot
The Coolist: Included within the prime 10 (no particular order)
World Internet Occasions: Included and taking the No. 1 spot
Sprintally: Not included within the prime 10 (regardless of some relatively broad “hen species” making into the record, e.g. “kingfisher”)
Chipper Birds: It is a record of the highest 30 however the Golden Pheasant is listed as No. 3, so, sure.
Tajbirds: Included at No. 6.
Bscholarly: It is a record of the highest 12, however the Golden Pheasant lands the highest spot, so sure.
Kinds at Life: Sure, included. However the record additionally contains the Mute Swan, which I personally discover fairly ugly …
Allabouttopten: Sure, included – bonus factors for together with the Black-naped Monarch, although a few of these bonus factors are instantly deducted for utilizing the identify “black-naped blue flycatcher”
Webspy: Included, and with a transparent assertion – “it’s the most stunning hen on this planet in 2023.”
Owlcation: Included at quantity 7 however species is probably not listed in any explicit order.
Legit: Included and taking the quantity 2 spot.

There are various extra such web sites, however them it will get boring in a short time. So, right here’s the consequence: Out of 13 web sites, 11 embody the Golden Pheasant of their prime 10. And I realized that there are various extra ineffective web sites than I ever thought attainable.

For good measure, I additionally requested ChatGPT in regards to the 10 most engaging hen species – it doesn’t embody the pheasant however thoughtfully warns that “the idea of attractiveness can fluctuate from individual to individual” …

Anyway, first-year male Golden Pheasants present a mixture of female and male options and are not often chosen as one of many prime ten most stunning birds.

However the seems of the grownup male Golden Pheasant make it a gorgeous hen for animal parks, zoos, and related locations – for instance, it has its personal webpage at Seaworld and at a spot known as Marineland on the Cote D’Azur.

I suppose in China, there’s all the time cash for analysis associated to Big Pandas. One such research regarded on the consideration the pandas pay to completely different species, utilizing eye-tracking expertise. It seems the pandas are usually not very fascinated about Golden Pheasants regardless of their place among the many prime 10 most stunning hen species.

These readers with barely morbid pursuits may need to hunt down a paper within the Turkish Journal of Veterinary and Animal Sciences describing the case of heavy blended an infection of Golden Pheasants by Heterakis isolonche and H. gallinarum (supply). Full with colour footage of the contaminated areas – good for printing out and adorning lounge partitions.

Sadly, the HBW states that Golden Pheasants are thought of an costly delicacy in eating places.

When in search of literature on Golden Pheasants, I stumbled throughout a thesis titled “Golden Pheasants and Japanese Kings: The German District Administration within the Occupied Soviet Union, 1941–1944”. Whereas this was unlikely to result in any bird-related info, I nonetheless wanted to determine what the time period “Golden Pheasant” stands for on this non-avian context.

A footnote within the thesis offers a solution: “‘Golden Pheasant‘ (Goldfasanen) was a derogatory time period to explain the civil administration [of the areas occupied by the Nazis]. The phrase itself referred to the yellow-brown uniform … It was additionally used to explain long-time Nazis who got essential positions within the Celebration or considered one of its organizations.” (supply: Fritz Hillenbrand, Underground Humour in Nazi Germany: 1933-1945, Routledge: London).
And the primary textual content of the thesis explains: “Total, these ‘Golden Pheasants‘, as they had been referred to by army personnel, indiscriminately plundered the native inhabitants and displayed a eager style for vodka, ladies and public executions. In brief, the civil administration was supposedly composed of ‘blockheads and ass-lickers, ‘drunk on energy.’”

One other use of the hen identify is to explain rich potential donors, which a priest amassing funds for a hospital thus described as his “Golden Pheasants” -as revealed within the journal (?) “The Hospital” in 1890 (supply).

One British birder describes the decline of the Golden Pheasant in Britain – the place it had been launched within the late nineteenth century – and ends this with the assertion that as a consequence of the presumed extinction, “Golden Pheasant will thus signify a real blocker on the British and Western Palearctic lists in years to return”. The unusual considering of listers.

Apparently, in Chinese language tradition, the Golden Pheasant is considered the ancestor of the phoenix and represents auspiciousness (supply).

Some researchers offered Golden Pheasants (and two different species, the Chukar Partridge and the Ring-necked Pheasant) with a novel object (a white tennis ball – the researchers had been Australian, so perhaps one left over from the Australian Open).
The Golden Pheasants had been those least more likely to strategy and react to the tennis ball. Inside the species, reactions had been stronger by males, by teams of birds relatively than people, and by captive birds. In science communicate, this then leads to the next conclusion:
“Outcomes from particular person topic exams had been interpreted as reflecting species-specific strategy/avoidance behaviors. Group patterns of habits had been interpreted as reflections of regular responses to novel conditions within the birds’ realm of expertise with conspecifics.” Sounds extra subtle, proper?

Jennifer Hill acquired her Ph.D. in biology on the College of Mexico sexual choice in Golden Pheasants. She discovered that the females desire males with full grownup plumage relatively than the one-year males, and males with longer cape feathers. And among the many males, male spur size was the perfect indicator of the standing of a male within the hierarchy.

It sounds form of apparent, however scientific rigor requires to show the apparent as properly. So, analysis discovered that the flight initiation distance of grownup male Golden Pheasants is constantly longer than that of the better-camouflaged grownup females and juveniles of both intercourse. And certainly, it was simpler to get photographs of the juvenile male than of the grownup male, although I believed this was because of the higher stupidity of the juvenile relatively than its much less good look.

And eventually, if Golden Pheasant mother and father need to frighten their chicks, they inform them the true story of a Nice Gray Owl attacking captive pheasants.

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