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Description of Blyth’s tragopan – Tragopan blythii

Blyth’s tragopan (Tragopan blythii) complete detail. Description of Blyth’s tragopan – Tragopan blythii. Habit and habitat of Blyth’s tragopan. Distribution of Blyth’s tragopan. Habit and habitat of Blyth’s tragopan. They prefer wooded areas, undergrowth of evergreen forests, and other dark, quiet places. They also found in densely wooded valleys and hillsides. 
Size of adult male is between 65 to 70 cm, and the size of female is between 55 to 60 cm. Male Blyth’s tragopan have rusty-red and black head, and smoky-grey lower breast and belly. The upper parts is bright crimson and brown or rusty red, tinged with red and marked with numerous white and maroon spots. They are spotted with small white dots on back called ‘ocelli’. A black band extends from the base of the bill to the crown coupled with another black…………..
Breeding and nesting season is between March to May. Nests are found in trees, stumps, and small bushes, usually in an abandoned nest of another species. Mating display may involve bowing and scraping the ground with their wings slightly raised and their flesh horns fully dilated while projected forward.
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Click here to view State wise list of Indian state birds (symbols) – updated

Distinctive Identification

Blyth’s tragopan is a Schedule – I bird, according to wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 and classified as Vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN.

Size of adult male is between 65 to 70 cm, and the size of female is between 55 to 60 cm.  The weight of adult male is between 1.75 to 2.20 kg, and the weight of female is between 1.00 to 1.50 kg.

Male Blyth’s tragopan have rusty-red and black head, and smoky-grey lower breast and belly. The upper breast and neck is rusty red, and the lower breast and belly is smoky-grey with faint spots. The back and rest of the body is brownish red, densely spotted with small white dots.

The upper parts is bright crimson and brown or rusty red, tinged with red and marked with numerous white and maroon spots.

They are spotted with small white dots on back called ‘ocelli’. A black band extends from the base of the bill to the crown coupled with another black band extending behind the eyes.

Males have grey belly patch and bright yellow bare facial skin. They have two pale blue horns that become erect during matting.

The wings are yellowish brown coloured, with black bars; the tips of the secondaries and the greater coverts have brown patches and white spots.

They have brown Iris, and pinkish brown legs. The bill is short, strong, stout, and greyish in color.

Tail is yellowish dark brown in color with black markings, the terminal part is grayish black.

Females are not as brightly colored as the male tragopan, they are dark brown with a mixture of black, buff and white mottling. Plumage of female is olive, with coarse markings; black ocelli are dominant on the back. The dorsal plumage is not streaked with white. It has a yellowish orbital skin.

Immature males are similar to female, acquiring red on the neck at first spring moult.

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Classification

Common Name – Blyth’s tragopan

Zoological Name – Tragopan blythii

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Aves

Order – Galliformes

Family – Phasianidae

Subfamily – Phasianinae

Genus – Tragopan

Conservational Status – Schedule – I according to wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 and classified as Vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN.

Distribution

They found in North-east India, Bhutan, North Myanmar to south-east Tibet, and China. In India, they found in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur.

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Habit and habitat

They prefer wooded areas, undergrowth of evergreen forests, and other dark, quiet places. They also found in densely wooded valleys and hillsides.

Blyth’s tragopan is a omnivores bird. They feed on various type of seeds, berries, fruits, ferns, buds, fresh leaves, and fleshy and succulent/tender vegetative shoots. They also feed on ants, insects, snails, worms, beetles, pebbles and small frogs.

They lives in small groups or in pairs, and is believed to be primarily monogamous. They roost in trees, singly or in pairs except during nesting.

These birds are secretive, shy and suspicious of humans, and quick to hide amongst the dense vegetation they inhabit if disturbed.

The call of the western tragopan, described as a loud “ohh ohhah ohaah ohaaah ohaaaha” or “gnau gnau” or “gock gock gock”.

Breeding and nesting season is between March to May. Nests are found in trees, stumps, and small bushes, usually in an abandoned nest of another species. The nests are made of sticks with a lining of smaller vegetation such as grass or weeds.

Click here to view State wise list of Indian state animals (symbols) – updated

The males advertise themselves with flamboyant displays to attract females. Mating display may involve bowing and scraping the ground with their wings slightly raised and their flesh horns fully dilated while projected forward.

Eggs 2 to 5. Incubation period is between 28 to 30 days. Males have been observed bringing food to the incubating female in the nest, and during the few occasions in captivity when females have vacated the nest to feed, males have generally been noted to take over incubation.

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