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The Himalayan Monal

The Himalayan Monal

 

The Himalayan Monal, also known as the Impeyan Pheasant or Impeyan Monal, is a variety of pheasant found in the hilly forests of the Himalayan region.

The scientific name of the bird is Lophophorus Impejanus and it belongs to the Phasianidae family of the Galliformes order.

Himalayan Monal

The pheasants are typically found residing in the oak-conifer forests of cool upper temperate regions, such as the Himalayan hills. Their preferred habitat also features rolling grassy slopes and cliffs, and an extensive understory of bamboo and rhododendron. The Himalayan Monal is a high-altitude bird that practices altitudinal migration as the weather changes. In the winter months they come down to 6,500ft. In the summers they move up to 16,000ft, wandering the grassy slopes above the tree-line. In general they maintain an altitude between 2,000 and 4,500m above the sea level.

It is one of the most stunning pheasants due to its distinctive iridescent metallic-coloured plumage. An average bird would measure to around 70 cm in length and between 4.4 - 5.2 lbs in weight, and it is considered to be a somewhat large bird. The average female of the species is a tad smaller and lighter than its male counterpart.

The Himalayan Monal spends most of its day foraging for insects, berries, shoots, and seeds. These pheasants have heavy bills which they expertly use for digging out subterranean insects and tubers from the slopes as well. Their tolerance to the snow is an added bonus to their lifestyle. The shrill curlew-like whistle of the Himalayan Monal is quite distinctive. These pheasants usually roam single or in pairs, especially during their breeding season between April and August. At other times they might also be spotted in small groups, or large conveys, while practicing communal roosting.

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