The adult male is 90-105 cm long. It is unmistakable with its golden crest and rump and bright red body. It has a deep orange `cape`. It has a bright yellow eye with a black pupil. Males have a golden-yellow crest with a hint of red at the tip. The face, throat, chin, and the sides of neck are rusty tan. The wattles and orbital skin are both yellow in colour, and the ruff or cape is light orange. The upper back is green and the rest of the back and rump is golden-yellow. The female (hen) is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage. Her breast, sides are barred buff and blackish brown, and the abdomen is plain buff. Both sexes have yellow legs and bills.

Habitat and Distribution

The Golden Pheasant is native to forests in mountainous areas of western China, but feral populations have been established in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In England they may be found in East Anglia in the dense forest landscape of the Breckland.


They feed on the ground on grain, leaves and invertebrates. They also tend to eat berries, grubs, seeds and other types of vegetation.


Golden Pheasants lay 8-12 eggs at a time and will then incubate these for around 22-23 days.

Calls and Songs

The male has a metallic call in the breeding season.