Imperial Pheasants

The Imperial Pheasant, Lophura imperialis, is endemic to the forests of Vietnam and Laos.

Previously known only from a pair taken alive to Europe by Jean Théodore Delacour in 1923, this species was rediscovered in 1990, when an immature male was trapped by rattan collector. Another immature male was caught in February 2000.

This rare bird was determined not to be a true species, but naturally-occurring hybrids between the Vietnamese Pheasant and the subspecies annamensis of the Silver Pheasant.


This is a dark blue medium-sized, up to 75cm long, pheasant with bare red facial skin, blue crest, crimson legs and glossy plumage.

Female is brown with erectile short feather crest, blackish tail and primaries (longest wing feathers).

Its appearance resembles another Vietnam’s enigmatic bird, the Vietnamese Pheasant, but is larger in size, has longer tail, all dark blue crest and tail feathers. The latter species has white crest and central tail feathers.

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