The Lady Amherst's Pheasant is a species of the order Galliformes
These are native to south western China, but have been introduced elsewhere, and have established a self-supporting, but now declining, feral population in the Unite Kingdom
The adult male is 100–120 cm in length, its tail accounting for 80 cm of the total length. It is unmistakable with its black and silver head, long grey tail and rump, and red, blue, white and yellow body feathering. The cape or hood as regularly reffered to can be raised in display.
This species is closely related to the Golden Pheasant that can will interbreed.
The female is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over, similar to that of the female Common Ring Neck but with finer barring. She is very like the female Golden Pheasant, but has a darker head and cleaner underparts than the hen of that species with blue gray leg coloring.
Despite the male's showy appearance, these pheasants are very difficult to see in the wild, which is dense, dark forests with thick undergrowth. Consequently, little is known of their acivities in the wild.
They feed on the ground on grain, leaves and insect but roost in trees at night. Whilst they can fly, they prefer to run, but if startled they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed, with a distinctive wing sound.
The male has a gruff call in the breeding season.
The (hooded) Pheasant breeds are the most commonly cross bred and are the most difficult to find true pure specimens