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Golden pheasants find Sanmenxia an ideal habitat

By Huang Chenkuang( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2016-12-23

Famous for its white swans that migrate to the city in winter, Sanmenxia, or "Swan City", is also home to a spectacular variety of birds, including golden pheasants.

Golden pheasant is a type of game bird native to forests in mountainous areas of western China and is likened unto a phoenix due to its colorful array of feathers.

Golden pheasants find Sanmenxia an ideal habitat

Two male golden pheasants vie for the attention of a female in Ganshan National Forest Park in Sanmenxia. [Photo/Sanmenxia Daily]

The birds have been spotted in and around Sanmenxia, including Ganshan National Forest Park, Yanzi Mountain, Yuhuangshan National Forest Park and Minor Qinling Natural Reserve.

Golden pheasants are under national second level protection in China and are included in the China Red Data Book of Endangered Animals.

Sanmenxia attracts scores of amateur and professional photographers every year to photograph the birds. During the 15th China (Pingyao) International Photography Exhibition in 2015, a collection of photos featuring red golden pheasants taken in Ganshan by Zhang Dian came as the highlight.

Golden pheasants find Sanmenxia an ideal habitat

A male golden pheasant (left) ruffles its feather to try and impress a female bird to mate with. [Photo/Sanmenixa Daily]

"I'm a big fan of golden pheasants. I think they are even more charming than peacocks when they spray their feathers," said Zhang.

Besides the geographical advantages Sanmenxia boasted, with nearly 51 percent forest cover, local government also has taken proactive measures to improve the living environment for golden pheasants.

During September 2014, Sanmenxia government established 12 protection zones for golden pheasants in various mountain areas around the city, including Yanzi Mountain, Sihe Mountain and Minor Qinling, covering a total area of 533,000 mu (35,000 hectares).

Golden pheasant was selected as the city bird of Sanmenxia in 2015, enjoying the equal honor and fame as white swans.

"Sanmenxia will do a better job to protect wild animals, as well as improve the city image," said a government spokesperson.

Golden pheasants find Sanmenxia an ideal habitat
A golden pheasant takes a leisurely walk in Sanmenxia. [Photo/Sanmenxia Daily]


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