Himalayan monal

Latin Name
Lophophorus impejanus

Class
Birds

Order
Galliformes

Description

A large member of the pheasant family, the Himalayan monal can reach up to 27 inches in length. The species is sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females differ in appearance. Females have brown and black feathers while the males have a vibrant plumage: a black chest and red tail, blue wings, a green back and metallic green head markings. Males also have a green crest extending back from the crown of the head.


 

Range

As its name indicates, the Himalayan monal can be found throughout the Himalayan Mountains, from Afghanistan to Bhutan.


Status

The Himalayan monal is rated a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Habitat

The species occupies elevated forests, cliffs and meadows.


Niche

The birds use their strong beaks to find insects and tubers beneath the soil. They will also feed on seeds and berries.


Life History

Males and females pair during breeding season (April–August) but can spend the rest of the year in communal flocks. The males’ crests and striking plumage are used in displays to attract mates. After breeding, the female lays three eggs in a scrape in the ground. The male guards the nesting area as the female incubates.




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