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Golden Pheasant, Wolferton (Norfolk), 22-Mar-06 | by Dave Appleton
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Golden Pheasant, Wolferton (Norfolk), 22-Mar-06

Male of the dark-throated form 'obscurus' with damaged tail. The bird in the background is a first year male. The form 'obscurus' , rather than being a true subspecies, is a genetic mutation found in feral and captive birds, possibly derived from some influence of Lady Amherst's Pheasant genes.

 

A couple of small populations of Golden Pheasants exist in Norfolk. Here, as at the few other locations they occur in the UK, the species is declining rapidly. Of course this is not of as much conservation concern as the decline of native species, but if they go we will lose one of the most colourful members of our local avifauna.

 

This individual had most of its tail missing (they are incredibly long-tailed birds) - probably run over as they are currently spending much of their time feeding on the road verge.

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Taken on March 22, 2006