Fwd: Type of Bird

To: 'Geoffrey Dabb' <>, 'Kim Farley' <>
Subject: Fwd: Type of Bird
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2023 02:53:19 +0000

Pheasants in Australia surely go back in time by several decades, probably with little or no input from genetically pure original genetic stock from the wild Asian populations. In that time whilst some breeders and aviculturalists will likely have endeavoured to maintain species pure breeding stocks, over that time the occurrence of hybridisation will surely have been significant and can have gone back several generations and involved a range of species in the makeup on the birds. That said you can still get to see many of the apparently typical ones in collections too. I suggested a hybrid is likely and probably more likely than just a “could be”. So it is hardly surprising being hard to match to a true wild species. One website shows the various species, predictably mature males, which doesn’t help a lot to match those photos. Another is more confusing by including Pheasant Coucal, Mandarin Duck, Magpie, various quails, etc, so I wouldn’t particularly trust the captions on that site.


However the comment from Graeme Clifton is probably as good an actual lead as anything, because we had not considered the idea that the bird could be a mutant line, which is probably much more common among captive birds, than being of a hybrid origin. It is a bit silly of me to have not mentioned that first time.




From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Sunday, 18 June, 2023 10:34 AM
To: 'Kim Farley'; 'Philip Veerman'
Cc: 'CanberraBirds email list';
Subject: RE: [Canberrabirds] Fwd: Type of Bird


Yes, my thoughts would be along the same lines. A quick guide is the HBW/BLI checklist which sends you to the pheasants on the basis of shape and bill length.  Females of the species Kim mentions are brownish. Then for more detail there is the photogallery of Cornell Lab Birds of the World. I would rule out Silver Pheasant on the ground of leg colour.  However Kalij Pheasant has the right colour.  The Kalij has far more photos (4093) than its relative (516), perhaps due to travel preferences of the snappers.  A small proportion for both are brown birds.  Again a matter of snapper preference, I would think.  If you go to Asia to photograph a Silver Pheasant, you don’t want to come back waving a pic of a non-descript brownish bird.  The small size of the eye patch and absence of nuchal crest might be due to juvenile status.  Aviary birds might be hybrids, as Kim says. To take it further, I think you’d need to consult a pheasant expert. 


From: Canberrabirds <> On Behalf Of Kim Farley via Canberrabirds
Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2023 3:02 PM
To: Philip Veerman <>
Cc: CanberraBirds email list <>;
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Fwd: Type of Bird


Armed with Phillip's suggestions I have checked my copy of Robson's Field Guide to Birds of South-east Asia and found two of Phillip's species. It appears Silver Pheasant females and juveniles have a red face. Juvenile Lady Amherst's Pheasant is described as very plain grey brown and could be a possible match.

I also checked eBird Media for Golden and Reeves's Pheasants. No pics of juvenile Goldens but the females have a light brown and tan plumage - so if the immatures and juvs are similar to females then maybe not a good match. No pics of Reeves's Pheasant juvs but the immatures have a brown, black and grey rather spotty plumage, so perhaps not a good match either 

And then of course there are other Pheasant species, and hybrids too...






On Sat, Jun 17, 2023 at 11:01 AM Philip Veerman <> wrote:


I can't tell if it is a juvenile. Could be an adult female but it is a
pheasant. Someone nearby presumably keeps pheasants and this one has got
away. I think the common species are Silver Pheasant, Lady Amherst Pheasant,
Reeves's Pheasant and Golden Pheasant. I don't know these well enough to
guess. So presumably one of these or another I have forgotten. It could also
be a hybrid involving these or another species.


-----Original Message-----
From: Canberrabirds
[ On Behalf Of

Sent: Saturday, 17 June, 2023 10:45 AM
To: CanberraBirds email list
Subject: [Canberrabirds] Fwd: Type of Bird

What bird is this? It's a juvenile, but what species?
Please reply to Jenny if you can help with identification.

Margaret Robertson

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