Grey Peacock Pheasant
Grey peacock pheasants are one of four subspecies of small, ground-dwelling birds that are native to southeast Asia. Also known as the chinquis, this little bird has plumage in various shades of light to dark mottled grey. Males have large, metallic blue-green to purple markings called ocelli on the wings, tail, and mantle. Females have smaller markings and a generally more drab appearance; both sexes have white markings on the face. Grey peacock pheasants are attractive and friendly birds that make a great addition to any aviary.
Range: Grey peacock pheasants are the national bird of Myanmar, and are found in the wild in the Southeastern Asian countries of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and into southeastern China.
Habitat: Grey peacock pheasants are ground-dwelling birds and are found in tropical areas. They enjoy eating live insects, which make up the bulk of their natural diet, and supplement them with fruits and green grasses.
Status in the Wild: Although the population of grey peacock pheasants in the wild has been slowly declining, their broad range and high numbers make them a common bird in their natural habitat. This species is not considered to be vulnerable.
Status in Aviculture: Grey peacock pheasants are commonly kept in small flocks in southeast Asia. Their prevalence in aviculture in Europe and North America is difficult to estimate; while they are kept by some aviculturists, they are one of the less common species seen.
Breeding: Grey peacock pheasants mate readily in captivity. Two hens can be bred with a single cock. Breeding season runs from March until July.
Incubation: Grey peacock pheasant hens lay two eggs per clutch and will lay several clutches throughout the breeding season if the eggs are collected. Eggs hatch within 21 days, and hens tend to be good mothers and will incubate the eggs themselves if allowed.
Lifespan: Grey peacock pheasants can live for several years in captivity.
Size: Birds can measure up to 30 inches at maturity, but are really quite small underneath their heavy plumage and weigh only 5-6 lb.
Housing Requirements: Since grey peacock pheasants are tropical birds, they require warm housing (heaters or heat lamps and bedding) during the winter months.
Notes: Grey peacock pheasants are friendly and non-aggressive, and often become quite tame in aviaries. They are a talkative bird, with distinctive calls.