Friday 17 May
Copper pheasant (Syrmaticus soemmerringii)
Copper pheasant fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Copper pheasant description
This striking species of long-tailed pheasant (Syrmaticus spp.) is named for the metallic, coppery-red plumage of the male (3) (4). The head and neck are uniformly chestnut-red, and conspicuous red face wattles surround the eyes, while underparts are paler and duller in colour (4). However, great variation exists both individually and according to distribution, with males of the southernmost subspecies (five currently recognised) being darker and more richly-coloured, although there remains great debate over the validity of these classifications (2) (4). Females are chestnut-brown vermiculated with buff and black, and with bold dark markings on the wings. While males have a very long tail, it is rather short and broad in the female (4).
- Also known as
- Soemmering's pheasant. Top
- BirdLife International:
- Cross-breeding with a different species or subspecies.
- Wormlike; often used to describe fine, wavy lines of colour on bird feathers.
- Bare fleshy skin that hangs from the bill, throat or eye of birds.
- IUCN Red List (June, 2006)
- del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1994) Handbook of the Birds of the World - New World Vultures To Guineafowl. Vol. 2. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
- gbwf.org: Dedicated to the Aviculture and Conservation of the World’s Galliformes (August, 2006)
- Delacour, J. (1951) The Pheasants of the World. Country Life Ltd., London.
- BirdLife International (August, 2006)
- Pheasant Ridge (August, 2006)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Copper pheasant biology
The breeding season starts in March in the south of the copper pheasant’s range, and in April to May in the north (2), with egg-laying recorded from the end of March to the beginning of July (4). This bird is one of the showiest of all pheasants, with a spectacular and lengthy courtship ritual (6). In display, the cock puffs out his head, neck and body feathers, flares his scarlet face wattles, spreads his tail, and whirrs his wings several times (4) (6). This is then followed by the cock repeatedly running around the hen, stopping periodically to lower his wings and spread his tail as he faces her (6). Clutches of 6 to 13 (typically 7) eggs are laid into a nest on the ground, and are then incubated for 24 to 25 days (in captivity) (2) (4).
The diet consists of acorns and seeds taken from the forest floor. Insects, earthworms, and even small crabs have also been reported, with animal matter making up the bulk of the diet for young birds (2).Top
Copper pheasant range
The copper pheasant is found on the islands of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu in Japan (5). Subspecies: the scintillating copper pheasant (S. s. scintillans) occurs in northern and central Honshu; the Shikoku copper pheasant (S. s. intermedius) in south-western Honshu and Shikoku; the Pacific copper pheasant (S. s. subrufus) in south-eastern Honshu and south-western Shikoku; Soemmering's copper pheasant (S. s. soemmeringii) in northern and central Kyushu; and the Ijima copper pheasant (S. s. ijimae) in south-eastern Kyushu (2) (3).Top
Copper pheasant habitatTop
Copper pheasant status
Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List 2006 (1).Top
Copper pheasant threats
Once common, the copper pheasant is now seldom seen in the wild, having declined dramatically in recent decades due to large-scale hunting for sport. Habitat loss has also impacted copper pheasant populations, and feral cats and dogs may be reducing breeding success. Hybridisation between the five subspecies may also pose a problem (5).Top
Copper pheasant conservation
The shooting of females was banned in 1976, their preservation being more critical to the survival of the species because of their greater reproductive involvement (5). However, there is a need to further regulate sport hunting so that it is maintained at sustainable levels (2) (5).Top
Find out more
For more information on the copper pheasant see:
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. (1994) Handbook of the Birds of the World - New World Vultures To Guineafowl. Vol. 2. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
For more information on this and other bird species please see:
AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: email@example.comTop
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.