Shy and surprisingly difficult to find in mixed and conifer woodland, where it runs quickly from detected disturbance. Red-and-gold male stunning and unmistakable. Female differs from Common Pheasant in strongly barred plumage, dull pinkish (not gray) legs and feet and from Lady Amherst’s Pheasant in lighter barring, more orangeish coloration, and the lack of a bare patch of gray skin behind the eye. Native to China but introduced very locally in Britain and Hawaii; however, captive birds might escape anywhere.
Golden pheasants are one of the most popular of all pheasant species kept in captivity because of their beautiful plumage and hardy nature. In fact, records as early as 1740 suggest this pheasant was the first species of pheasant brought to North America