It is a large pheasant with a rich coppery chestnut plumage, yellowish bill, brown iris and red facial skin. The female is a brown bird with greyish brown upperparts and buff barred dark brown below. The male has short spur on its grey legs, none in female. He measures up to 87.5–136 cm (34.5–54 in) long including the tail while the female measures up to 51–54 cm (20–21 in) (subspecies scintillating copper pheasant, scintillans) including the tail.
The copper pheasant is distributed and endemic to the hill and mountain forests of Honshū, Kyūshū and Shikoku islands of Japan, where it is known as yamadori(山鳥?). The diet consists mainly of insects, arthropods, roots, leaves and grains. Due to ongoing habitat loss, limited range and overhunting in some areas, the copper pheasant is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.