Himalayan Monal


Himalayan monal
Scientific Name: Lophophorus impeyanus
Geographical Range: The Himalayan Mountains, from eastern Afghanistan to western China
Habitat: These pheasants live in mountainous regions.
In the summer they live in grass and rock covered meadows.
In the winter they prefer coniferous, and mixed forests.
Diet in the Wild: Monals feed on a variety of seeds, buds, shoots, roots, and some small mammals in the wild.
Conservation Status: Unprotected, considered to be stable
Location in the Zoo: A circular caged exhibit located near raptor walk.

Physical Description:
The males of this species look quite different from the females of the species. The male Himalayan Monals have bright and colorful feathers of blue, green, purple, and red. They have a white patch of  feathers underneath the base of their tail, but the rest of their underside is black. The males also have a crest on top of their heads. Both the male and female of the species have blue circles of skin around their eyes. The females and the chicks have an overall brown appearance. Their feathers also have white and black strips on certain parts. The females have a white throat. The male chicks resemble the females chicks until a little after a year when they begin to become more colorful. Before then you could tell the young male and females apart because of their larger size and black feathers on the chest in place of the white.

Social Organization::
In captivity these birds are usually kept in pairs of male and females. Sometimes they are kept in groups of three. The birds may be separated in the winter from the other sex. The males use loud caling to sow ehere they are daily at least.Locations of individual males are apparently advertised by loud daily calling.  The males generally hang out in groups of two to three, but in the springtime they are a little more territorial. In the winter it is common for females to stay in groups of about twenty. SOmetimes there may even be a male or two that has joined one of these groups. The females are considered to be rather friendly, and the males generaly only show aggression in the mating season.

Special Adaptations:
 Their are sharp edges on the bird's mandible that are important in cutting and splitting plants that are very tough. The birds forage with their shovel-like beaks, sometimes digging holes as deep as a foot. They do this instead of using their feet as some other birds.

The picture of the bird on the right  is a female  monal. You can distinguish between the males and females by looing  at her plumage. The female has blue arounf her eyes but, is a brownish color overall.>

Reproductive Behavior:
The Himalayan Monals begin nesting in may generally. The eggs of the birds have been observed anywhere from the end of April, until the end of June. The female generally lays  four to five eggs. This species to be polygynous, but their may be a pair bond sometimes which lasts from mating to incubation.

The Animal at the Zoo:
The Himalayan Monal I observed at the zoo was a female. She was by herself in a cage,
she did not seem to be very active. The bird was sitting down and cleaning its feathers.

Page Author:
April St. John-Alexander apeanu@aol.com

Sources and Links:
gbwf.org Copyright 1997-2003
Dan Cowell, webmaster@gbwf.org

2. http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/NDG/Pheas/ BRKImpeyan.html
All text ©FeatherSite unless otherwise credited; for graphics see note Barry at featherside@cyborganic.net

3. http://www.wildlifeofpakistan.com/Himalayan_

Copyright 2001-Wildlife of  Paistan-
Pheasants of Pakistan

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