Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited
Vol 1. March, 1897 No. 3
THE JAPAN PHEASANT.
RIGINALLY the Pheasant was an inhabitant of Asia Minor but has been by degrees introduced into many countries, where its beauty of form, plumage, and the delicacy of its flesh made it a welcome visitor. The Japan Pheasant is a very beautiful species, about which little is known in its wild state, but in captivity it is pugnacious. It requires much shelter and plenty of food, and the breed is to some degree artificially kept up by the hatching of eggs under domestic hens and feeding them in the coop like ordinary chickens, until they are old and strong enough to get their own living.
The food of this bird is extremely varied. When young it is generally fed on ants’ eggs, maggots, grits, and similar food, but when it is full grown it is possessed of an accommodating appetite and will eat many kinds of seeds, roots, and leaves. It will also eat beans, peas, acorns, berries, and has even been known to eat the ivy leaf, as well as the berry.
This Pheasant loves the ground, runs with great speed, and always prefers to trust to its legs rather than to its wings. It is crafty, and when alarmed it slips quickly out of sight behind a bush or through a hedge, and then runs away with astonishing rapidity, always remaining under cover until it reaches some spot where it deems itself safe. The male is not domestic, passing an independent life during a part of the year and associating with others of its own sex during the rest of the season.
The nest is very rude, being merely a heap of leaves and grass on the ground, with a very slight depression. The eggs are numerous, about eleven or twelve, and olive brown in color. In total length, though they vary considerably, the full grown male is about three feet. The female is smaller in size than her mate, and her length a foot less.
The Japan Pheasant is not a particularly interesting bird aside from his beauty, which is indeed brilliant, there being few of the species more attractive.
The Green Pheasant, Phasianus versicolor, also known as Japanese Pheasant, is native to the Japanese Archipelago, to which it is endemic. The male (cock) is distinguished from that species by its dark green plumage on the breast and mantle. The male also has an iridescent violet neck, red bare facial skin and purplish green tail. The female is smaller than male and has a dull brown plumage with dark spots.
This species is common and widespread throughout its native range. It frequents farmlands and is often seen close to human settlements; it also has been introduced in Hawaii and (unsuccessfully) in North America as a gamebird.
Some authorities consider the Green Pheasant a subspecies of the Common Pheasant. The Pheasant is in the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family or the Galliformes Order. There are 181 members in the family.
It is the national bird of Japan. “It originally was designated as such in 1947 at the 81st Meeting of the National Bird Society of Japan. The Japanese pheasant was most likely selected because this green pheasant in unique to Japan,and futhermore because it appears in Japanese folk tales and so has become an integral part of the Japanese cultural landscape.”
Fagiano Okayama football club, a club based in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture, has a mascot based on the Green Pheasant.
The above article is an article in the monthly serial for March 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.
To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited
(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)
Next Article – The Flicker
Previous Article – The Brown Thrush
Green Pheasant – Wikipedia
Phasianidae – Wikipedia
Video of Green Pheasant – from IBC
Ad from Article in 1897