Wild Fact #379 – The Dancing Pheasant – Temminck’s Tragopan

Temminck's Tragopan

Photo by Doug Janson (Wikimedia)

Currently in the Northern hemisphere we are battling the dreary days of winter, so to help brighten up your day, we are going to learn about a colourful bird known as the Temminck’s Tragopan. As well, a nice trip to India, Japan or China to find this bird may also help with the winter blues. I should probably wait until we get to Asia before telling you that these beautiful birds prefer living at an altitude between 914 and 3,657 meters (3000 and 12000 feet) so it is going to be quite the hike. But I promise it will be worth it. So let’s grab our hiking boots, binoculars and oxygen tanks so we can start our trek to find one of the most stunning birds you will ever see.

Fashion Statement

You may be able to tell by looking at the Temminck’s Tragopan that they are a member of the pheasant family and probably the most beautiful pheasant species roaming the earth. The males are mostly a reddish-orange colour with the abdomen being brighter than their rump. For me, it is the fluorescent blue face that grabs my attention. Similarly, the male has a nice blue lappet (a flap on their head), however, this it is usually tucked away unless he is trying to impress a female friend. Like many other birds, the female tends to be a little more boring than their male counterpart. The colouring of the female is typically a dull brownish-grey with black marks.

Temminck tragopan

Photo by Mat?j Ba?ha (Wikimedia)

Mating Display

So we found out that the male Temminck’s Tragopan will use a decorative head piece to show off for the ladies but it doesn’t stop there. This bird actually has a whole dance routine and surprisingly, they are much better dancers that I am….okay, maybe it isn’t that much of a surprise. Instead of explaining their mating display, I am going to show you. Check out the short video below to see some pretty nifty dance moves.

Not too bad, eh?

Temminck’s Tragopan Fast Fact

You would never know from watching the video but the Temminck’s Tragopan is typically a solitary bird, with the obvious exception of mating season. As well, they are more arboreal (likes trees) than most other pheasants.

That does it for today’s Wild Fact. I hope your dull winter day is a little brighter!

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