Green pheasant

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Green pheasant
Phasianus versicolor in field.JPG
Male in Japan
Phasianus versicolor female.JPG
Female in Japan
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Phasianus
P. versicolor
Binomial name
Phasianus versicolor

Phasianus colchicus versicolor

The green pheasant (Phasianus versicolor), also known as Japanese green pheasant, is an omnivorous bird native to the Japanese archipelago, to which it is endemic.[1][3] It was formerly considered to be a subspecies of the common, ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus[4]). Some taxonomic authorities still consider it a subspecies. It is the national bird of Japan.[5]


The male (cock) has dark green plumage on the breast, neck, mantle, and flanks. The male also has bluish-purplish hood with clear ear-tufts, red wattle, and long, pale grey-banded tail. The female is smaller than the male, with a shorter tail, and has brownish black colored plumage, with dark brown feather fringed pale brown.[3]

Habitat and distribution[edit]

It is found throughout Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu as well as some smaller islands;[3] it has also been introduced in Hawaii[1] and (unsuccessfully) in North America as a gamebird. It inhabits woodlands and forest edges, brush, grassland, and parkland.[3]

This species is common and widespread throughout its native range. It often frequents farmlands and human settlements. The introduced populations in Hawaii are stable. Populations in Western Europe have perhaps bred with the common pheasant for a number of years and no pure green pheasants exist there any longer. This species has been crossed with the common pheasant on some game farms in North America and released.[6]



Green pheasants may be hunted in their native Japan between November 15 and February 15 by those in possession of a valid hunting license issued by the prefecture in which the hunting is carried out. A valid Japanese Firearms Permit is required if one wishes to use an air-rifle or shotgun to hunt with. The bag limit is two male pheasants per day. No shooting of females is permitted.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c BirdLife International (2014). "Phasianus versicolor". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Phasianus versicolor (Vieillot, 1825)". ITIS. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  3. ^ a b c d Brazil, Mark (2009). Birds of East Asia. Christopher Helm. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-0-7136-7040-0.
  4. ^ E.g., "Phasianus colchicus versicolor Green Pheasant". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Kokucho (The national bird)". Retrieved 25 July 2014. Declared national bird by a non-government body in 1947
  6. ^ Web, Avian. "Green Pheasants aka Japanese Green Pheasants". Beauty Of Birds. Retrieved 2016-03-20.

External links[edit]