Blue Eared Pheasant

Crossoptilon auritum

Wyatt got his name because for the first month I had him he would sit on his roost and look at me and go "urp, urp, urp." As soon as I started calling him Wyatt, he stopped trying to tell me his name! Since then, he mostly says "I dunno!," but lately (I guess from hanging around all these chickens) he's also started saying "a ROOSta."

The Eared Pheasants are adapted to the high altitudes of mountainous regions of Asia. The Blue Eared is native to the Kokonor and Kansu provinces of China. The first Blue Eared Pheasants did not leave China until 1929, when a few were sent to the avicultural gardens of Jean Delacour at Clères in France.

Males and females are almost identical. The only differences are that (usually) only the male carries short spurs, and he is slightly larger with somewhat stronger legs and rounder, more extensive red wattles on the sides of his face. The chicks grow rapidly and resemble adults in looks and size by four months.

Blue Eareds are diggers, using their strong beaks to uncover insects, bulbs and roots, although they also take leaves and seeds. My two come running when I call them to take bread from my hand. They are especially fond of hard rolls, and don't really like bagels.

Due to their tameness, they are easy to maintain if you have some room. They are poor fliers so rarely need to be pinioned. They do need space, however, to prevent feather picking (see Wyatt's back, which should be smooth--this came from 2 months in a holding pen before I released them into the main flock).

Blue Ear Links:

The GBWF page on Blue Ears

Eared Pheasant Group

A page on sexing eared pheasants

"Wyatt's" head
Photo courtesy of Virginia Martin

"Wyatt": the Blue Eared Pheasant as art form
Photo courtesy of Virginia Martin

"Fifi," Wyatt's mate
Photo courtesy of Erica Salzmann

"Fifi" trying to get in on the "art act"
Photo courtesy of Erica Salzmann

Some people will do anything for a hard roll
Photos courtesy of Virginia Martin

"Wyatt" again



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