Fowls and Pheasants: Phasianidae
Satyr Tragopan (tragopan Satyra): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: Weighs 2.2 to 4.6 pounds (1 to 2.1 kilograms) and measures 22 to 28 inches (57 to 72 centimeters). Females are slightly smaller than males. Males have dark red underparts with blue facial skin. Brown plumage covers the lower back and rump.
Geographic range: The satyr tragopan lives in the central and eastern Himalayas.
Habitat: This bird lives in mountain forests at altitudes ranging between 5,900 and 14,100 feet (1,800 and 4,300 meters).
Diet: Eats bulbs, roots, and leaves as well as insects, sprouts, and seeds.
Behavior and reproduction: Unlike most pheasants, the satyr tragopan spends a great deal of time in the trees, and is most active during the day. Reported to be shy in the wild, these birds live in pairs or sometimes larger family groups. Males vocalize in what is considered to be a wail at dawn from April to June, a sign that breeding season is about to begin.
These birds are monogamous. Nests are made of sticks as high as 20 feet (6 meters) in trees. Clutch size is two to three eggs, and they are incubated for twenty-eight days.
Satyr tragopans and people: Himalayan forest conservation campaigns use this bird as a central figure.
Conservation status: Not currently listed as threatened by the IUCN. The satyr tragopan is still hunted in Nepal. ∎
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Green-Armitage, Stephen. Extraordinary Pheasants. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2002.
Madge, Steve, et al. Pheasants, Partridges, and Grouse: A Guide to the Pheasants, Partridges, Quails, Grouse, Guineafowl, Buttonquails, and Sandgrouse of the World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.
"Gobble, Gobble, Gobble." Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/critter/bird/wildturkey.htm (accessed on June 9, 2004).
"Ptarmigans." Hinterland's Who's Who. http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?pid=1&id=64&cid=7 (accessed June 9, 2004).
"Satyr-tragopan." Brno Zoo. http://www.zoobrno.cz/english/galery/gal_satyr_e.htm (accessed on June 9, 2004).
"Wild Turkey." Bowhunting. http://www.bowhunting.net/NAspecies/nasturk2.htm#top (accessed on June 9, 2004).
"Wild Turkey." The Waldron Village News. http://www.waldronmi.com/wildlife/wild_turkey.htm (accessed on June 9, 2004).
"Willow Ptarmigan." NatureWorks. http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/willowptarmagin.htm (accessed on June 9, 2004).
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