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The blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus), also known as blood partridge, is the only species in genus Ithaginis of the pheasant family.

116 views 17 April 2021

The Blood Pheasant is a relatively small, short-tailed Pheasant which is widespread and fairly common in eastern Himalayas. It ranges across Nepal, Bhutan, China and India where it’s the state bird of the Indian state of Sikkim.

     The male Blood pheasant has dark-ashy plumage above with white shafts. He also possesses tinged wings, and the feathers of the chin and coverts are deep crimson red. Both male and female Blood pheasants have red feet and a distinct crimson or orange ring of bare skin around the eyes according to the subspecies. Female birds are more uniformly colored, being overall dull brown and often with some grey on the nape.

    The Blood pheasant has twelve recognized subspecies which mainly vary in the plumage of the males. The differences are in the amount of red or black in the throat, forehead, neck, chest and tail, and the presence or absence of rufous areas in the wings.

     Female Blood pheasants usually lay eggs from mid-April to late June but most nests are found in May. The hen normally lays 6 – 7 long oval eggs which are incubated for almost 28 days.