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Last Update: 18 Oct 2017
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Totally PA_Argus Pheasant (Argusianus argus)Totally PA_Argus Pheasant (Argusianus argus)

Argus Pheasant (Argusianus argus)


Family: PicturePHASIANIDAE

Pheasants are a worldwide family of ground-living birds with short round wings, but often long tails. Males are usually very decorative while females are drably camouflaged. They nest on the ground but roost in trees. Some species have loud, clear calls. Many species have wing-whirring or shaking displays. Most species have fighting spurs on the males' legs. Flight is flurried and usually only for short distances, but the birds can run well.

There are 22 species in the Greater Sundas. None is migratory.

Description: Unmistakable large pheasant. Male (120 cm) has enormously elongated secondary feathers and central tail feathers. The wing feathers are boldly decorated with large eye-spots. Plumage generally rusty brown with intricate buff and black spots and patterns; underparts darker rufous. Female (60 cm) has shorter tail and wing feathers, is darker rufous, and lacks the male's eye-spots. Both sexes have blue bare skin of head and neck and a short dark crest.

Iris - red brown; bill - yellow; feet - red.

Voice: Male makes explosive, clear, double note kow wow often in response to a tree fall or the calls of other males. Another call, made by either sex, is a series of 20 or so clear wow notes on the same pitch, rising and speeding up slightly at the end.

Range: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo.

Habits: Males clear dancing rings on the forest floor, removing all leaves, seedlings, and stones. They call from these dancing grounds in the morning, and give a visual display to visiting females by raising and fanning the tail and wings, somewhat like the display of a peacock. Birds roost in trees at night, and sometimes rest in and even call from trees in the day.

Note: The Double-banded Argus A. bipunctatus, known from a single male primary, is thought to have been a Javan bird though there is some reason to suspect it came from Tioman Island, off E Malaya.