Green pheasant

Japan’s quake-alert national bird


Renowned for its vivid plumage and unique behaviors, the Green Pheasant plays a fascinating role in Japan’s ecological and cultural tapestry. It is distinguished by its striking appearance. Males are particularly colorful, sporting vibrant green and blue plumage on their bodies, with a rich chestnut brown chest and belly accented by splashes of purple. Their face features bright red wattles around the eyes, which add to their striking look during the breeding season. Females, on the other hand, are less conspicuous, with a more muted brown coloration that helps them blend into their surroundings, a common trait for female birds that nest on the ground.

Native to the Japanese archipelago, the Green Pheasant is found throughout the main islands of Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. They inhabit a variety of environments ranging from subtropical forests to agricultural fields and even suburban areas where their habitats overlap with human populations. This adaptability has helped them to thrive in diverse conditions, although it also brings them into frequent contact with people.

Green Pheasants are ground birds, spending most of their time foraging for food on the forest floor. Their diet is omnivorous, consisting mainly of seeds, berries, insects, and small animals. They are known for their distinctive call, which the males use to assert territory and attract mates during the breeding season. An interesting aspect of their behavior is their reputed sensitivity to seismic activity; locals claim that they can detect earthquakes before they happen, leading to their vocal alarm calls.


Population est.
United States
Introduced: Hawaiian Is.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No