A highly communicative bird, the Himalayan monal uses several different call types to express meaning to its mate, other birds in its foraging group, or intruding birds. Males also use body displays to attract females; bobbing the head-crest and fanning their tail feathers. The breeding season begins in April when the monals are at higher altitudes. The male switches from calling only in the early morning to calling throughout the day. Once a female notices his display they mate and shortly afterwards she scrapes a nest in the ground and lays between three and five eggs. The female must incubate the eggs alone, but the male will stand guard throughout the 27-day incubation period and until fledging to protect the eggs and chicks from predators. After six months the young are completely independent and must search for food and mates alone (5).
Like many of the pheasants, quails and partridges in the Phasianidae family, the Himalayan monal has very strong legs and a long, curved beak which together enable it to dig into the hard soil of the mountains to uncover seeds, tubers, shoots, berries, and insects. This method of foraging leaves conspicuous areas of turned over soil up to 25 cm deep on hillsides (2).