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The Pheasant - Phasianus colchicus. A UK bird.

The Pheasant - Phasianus colchicus. A very familiar gamebird, the pheasant is large and colourful, and has a long tail. Common in farmland and woodland throughout the UK, the males' loud, sharp, croaking call can be heard resonating through the countryside before the bird is actually seen. Pheasants eat seeds, berries, leaves and insects; they roost in trees and can form flocks in winter. During the breeding season, one male may mate with many females, who then raise the chicks alone.

can you spot the two hens with this male?

In hong kong we have the crow pheasant (Centropus sinensis). But it is actually a cuckoo, and don't try eating one, as they taste disgusting

How do I know this (given that all birds in HK are protected by law? Well, I have read that they were mistaken by English soldiers in India for pheasants, and they reported it "evil flavoured" giving it the nickname of "Griff's pheasant". A lot of animals taste of what they eat, so this bad taste is probably because they are known to eat toxic fruits.

Yes, its a cuckoo, but they are non parasitic, ie they do not lay their eggs in other's nests. They are quite unmistakable in Hong Kong, as not many birds are this big, and they have a long tail and coppery brown wings. But they are weak fliers, and are often seen clambering about in vegetation or walking on the ground as they forage for insects, eggs and nestlings of other birds, caterpillars and small vertebrates such snakes and lizards, but they also eat seeds and fruit.

The flesh was once eaten in India as a folk cure for tuberculosis and pulmonary ailments.

here below a juvenile coucal that I had previously mistaken for a Koel.


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