Imperial Pheasants

The Imperial Pheasants, Lophura imperialis, is endemic to the forests of Vietnam and Laos.

Previously known only from a pair taken alive to Europe by Jean Théodore Delacour in 1923, this species was rediscovered in 1990, when an immature male was trapped by a rattan collector. Another immature male was caught in February 2000.

This rare bird was determined not to be a true species, but a naturally occurring hybrid between the Vietnamese Pheasant and the subspecies annamensis of the Silver Pheasant.


The Imperial Pheasants is a dark blue medium-sized, up to 75cm long, pheasant with bare red facial skin, blue crest, crimson legs, and glossy plumage.

The female is brown with an erectile short feather crest, blackish tail, and primaries (longest wing feathers).

Its appearance resembles another Vietnam’s enigmatic bird, the Vietnamese Pheasant, but is larger, and has a longer tail, a dark blue crest, and tail feathers. The latter species has white crest and central tail feathers.

Other Releated Web Links: Pheasant General InformationPheasant SpeciesPheasant Taxonomy … Breeding Pheasants … Pheasant Photo GalleryHousing Pheasants … Pheasant Diseases

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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