Thursday, January 3, 2008

Most beautiful bird in the world: Impeyan Pheasant

Hows that for a provocative post title. I'm serious, however, these birds are otherworldly. The colors you see on the male here are completely liquid and iridescent. I really wished I could find video of them so you could see this aspect of the bird's plumage in action, it's just outlandishly gorgeous.

The bird is known as a Himalayn Monal, or Lophophorus impejanus. Its range includes some of the more conflicted parts of the globe currently; Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tibet -- as well as Bhutan and NW India.

Like most pheasants, it likes temperate to even cold temperatures, and what prompted this post was seeing a gorgeous specimen in an outside aviary in downtown Walla Walla. He was strutting around just fine in the still 27-degree weather. There were other exotic pheasants there, and they too weren't in protected greenhouses, just penned and open to the weather. It's amazing to me that something so outrageously colored lives in a cooler climate, something in me just expects to hear that it's Tropical/Equatorial.

Fancy salmon flies sometimes utilize Impeyan feathers in their patterns, which is another reason I was thinking about this particular bird recently. I know this guy, see, who ties very classy salmon/steelhead flies.

Here and here are a few other links to sites with more info and pictures. They're worth a browse.

[Hey! Now the post is even Spell Checked, like a REAL POST -- just can't get used to these set up options at Stu's house darnit.]

Enjoy the extravagant beauty,



Kate said...

B, if you haven't had a chance to see it need to sit down and watch Planet Earth. These guys are given some footage in the Mountains episode.
Aside from that, the whole thing is beautifully shot and I think you'd love it.

Bpaul said...

I'm seriously considering buying it. I've seen the whole series, most of the "makings of" and a couple episodes twice. It's the best of the best as far as nature documentaries goes... absolutely the best.

I thought I had seen some of these guys in one of the episodes, but no one has clipped it out and put it on youtube unfortunately.

Kate said...

yeah, Rob bought it and made me watch it with him while he was visiting last week....not that I was arguing, mind you ;)
I think the clip of these guys was quite quick...just a little blip in between cherry blossoms and giant pandas.

Girl in Red Shoes said...

found a video of one, though you have to wait until 0:58 before you actually see one. not much, but it's ok.

Girl in Red Shoes said...

soory, forgot to include the url:

Bpaul said...

That video is worth it for the sound track alone, awesome.

I wonder what show it's clipped from, I'll have to do some digging.

Shocho said...

I like the Ruddy Duck, but that's a fine pheasant.

Bpaul said...

Ruddys were a surprise to me during my vertebrate zoology class this last term, very handsome for sure.