A celebration of pheasants, ‘some of the most beautiful birds in the world’

We tend to think of pheasants as a relatively ordinary sight, but they're among the world's most beautiful birds — and they're being celebrated in a handsome new book.

‘My favourite would have to be Lady Amherst’s Pheasant,’ says ornamental-pheasant breeder Nigel Hester, trustee of the World Pheasant Association (WPA).

‘But there are so many. These are some of the most beautiful birds in the world.’

The WPA is celebrating these creatures with the release of Monograph of the Pheasants, a book on ‘one of the most threatened bird groups in the world’.

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant.

Although they might seem abundant in the UK, scrabbling across windscreens in rural parishes throughout the land, 30 of the 47 species worldwide are registered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Redlist, and 18 are between ‘vulnerable’ and ‘extinct in the wild’.

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This new publication is the first English translation of a previous work from Alain Hennache and Michel Ottaviani and features never-before-seen pictures, plus the latest information on each species.

The Bornean Peacock Pheasant Male’s display. ©WPA

Highlights include some of the most exotic pheasants on the plant. ‘Did you know that the Himalayan Monal is known in its native lands as “the nine-coloured bird?”’ adds Nigel.

Proceeds from the book will be used by the WPA to fund research into scientific studies and conservation work, hopefully allowing these birds to continue to thrive the world over.

Monograph of the Pheasants is published by the WPA, and available direct at £60, plus postage. Call 01434 345526 or email office@pheasant.org.uk.

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