The Himalayan Monal, Lophophorus impejanus also known as the Impeyan Monal or Impeyan Pheasant is a bird of genus Lophophorus of the Pheasant family, Phasianidae. It is the National bird of Nepal, where it is known as the Danfe, and the state bird of Uttarakhand.
It is a relatively large sized bird with reference to family Phasianidae. About 70 cm in length, the weight of males and females range between 1980-2380g and 1800-2150g respectively. Adult males possess a long crest, are feathered with multicoloured plumage throughout their body, while the females, like in other pheasants, are dull in colour with the upper parts covered with dark brownish-black feathers. Notable features in males are a long crest that is metallic green, changeable reddish copper on the back and sides of the neck and, a prominent white back and rump while in flight (birds of northwestern India lack this). Tail feathers of males are uniformly rufous being darker towards the tips, where as the lower tail coverts of females are white, barred with black and rufous. Females have a prominent white patch in the fore neck and a white strip on the tail. First year males and immatures resemble females, but first year males are larger and the immatures are less distinctly marked.
The Himalayan Monal secures a distinct position among pheasants due to its prominent build, brilliant plumage and strong association with local folklore. Its natural range spreads from eastern Afghanistan through the Himalayas including Pakistan, India (states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh), Nepal, southern Tibet and Bhutan. There is also a report of its occurrence in Myanmar. It occupies upper temperate oak-conifer forests interspersed with open grassy slopes, cliffs and alpine meadows between 2400 – 4500m, mostly concentrating in a narrow belt of 2700 – 3700m. They seem to exhibit clear and fluctuating altitudinal migration reaching as low as 2000m in winter. They, however, show tolerance to snow and have been observed to dig through snow for roots, tubers and other plant parts, and invertebrates. Seen in pairs during the breeding season (April to August), they form large coveys and involve in communal roosting during the winter. The population of this species in most of its range is threatened due to poaching and other anthropogenic factors. The male monal has been under heavy hunting pressure for its crest feather, which was used for ornament hats of Himachal men, until 1982 when legal hunting was banned in the state.
The scientific name commemorates Lady Mary Impey, the wife of British chief justice of Bengal, Sir Elijah Impey.
Thanks a ton, Biswarup!
You have made my day! Dil khush keeta eee -- as they say in Punjabi.
You have done full justice to the beauty of this bird I have known from my childhood and loved dearly.
For me, this the most beautiful bird in the world.
Superb shot with perfectly true reproduction of the colours on this male's amazingly beautiful plumage.
Some guys might peck at the partial view of its feet, but it is okay for me. Its feet are not of any special interest, anyway :-)!
I somehow managed to see your picture. Good and excellent shot of this lovely creature. I am thankful for TN for making me learn so much about birds and other things. We are too small when we learn so much about them.
Tks for sharing. Its pity that only three people managed to see your this excellent picture.
woohoo the colors are shining!
very interesting bird species and the plumage is just so fabulous.. the details are great here thanks to a very sharp image..
it seems to be looking at you so it's a plus!
The palette of colours here are so amazing...and you captured it pretty well.
Excellent the exposure settings to deal with this iridiscent colours, so difficult to reproduce by the camera.
The composition made with the subject and the rocks at the back are excellent.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,