Bird lover encounters rare pheasant in forest in S China

During a bird-watching trip in late April, bird lover Fang Qiaoran ran into a Cabot's tragopan, or yellow-bellied tragopan, by surprise.

"It was staring at us across the road," Fang recalled, excited by the sight of the bird from such a short distance.

The pheasant, endemic to mountain ranges in southeastern China, is under first-class state protection.

Males have orange streaks on both sides of the head and on the neck, and orange bare skin on the cheeks and around the eyes. During breeding season, the males are also distinguished by their blue and orange decorative and inflatable wattles below the beak that they showcase to females during courtship.

The photos were taken in Nanling National Nature Reserve in southern China's Guangdong Province. Altogether, 317 bird species have been recorded in the reserve.

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(All photos by Fang Qiaoran)

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