This pheasant roosts in trees at night (6) and forages on the ground by day, with most feeding seeming to occur in the morning and late afternoon, typically along trail edges (4) (9). Swinhoe’s pheasants have a varied diet, including acorns, berries, flower buds, leaves and other plant material, as well as a few earthworms, millipedes, termites and other insects (4) (9). Though these pheasants typically feed alone, they may be seen in small groups or with their young during the breeding season (6).
During the breeding season, from March until July, males perform impressive courtship displays to entice females to mate (4). This involves flaunting their brilliant metallic plumage and erecting their white crest and red face wattles, while they bob their head up and down, jump around and whirr their wings (2). Peak egg-laying probably occurs in March and May, although reports as late as October exist (9). Nests are built in highly secretive, well hidden places under large shelters, such as at the foot of a tree or under rocks, and occasionally in trees, where they are safe from the rain and predators (6) (9). Clutches of three to eight eggs are laid and then incubated for around 25 days (in captivity) by the female alone (4) (9).