Brown-Eared Pheasant: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Brown-eared pheasant facts are interesting

In this article, we will get to read and learn about the brown-eared pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum). It was in 1863 that the species was identified by Robert Swinhoe. This bird is indigenous to the region of western China. These omnivorous birds primarily eat plants and forage on the ground. Their diet consists of plant parts like roots, bulbs, seeds, and underground vegetables. The females lay five to eight eggs in one clutch, which are pale stone green in color, oval, and take about 28 days to hatch. These birds have a black crown, long creamy white ear tufts, and red facial skin that give them very elegant features. The name of genus Crossoptilon, to which this bird belongs, originates from the Greek words krossoi (meaning fringe) and ptilon (meaning feather). This description seems appropriate considering these birds have plumage that seems a bit scruffy. The hatchlings, which are themselves about 1.41 oz (40 g), within just weeks grow up to weigh about 10.89 oz (308.7 g). It would be an understatement to say that these birds are large. So, read on as these facts may just inspire you to embark on your own brown-eared pheasant research project.

If you enjoy learning about brown-eared pheasants, check out greater sage grouse facts and leghorn chicken facts.

Brown-eared pheasant

Fact File

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?

5 - 8 eggs

How much do they weigh?

Male: 3.5-5.5 lb (1.6-2.5 kg) Female: 3-4.4 lb (1.4-2 kg)

How long are they?

37.7-39.3 in (96-100 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark Brown with white feathers

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Temperate mixed coniferous and deciduous forests


Western China, Mongolia, Tibet





Scientific Name

Crossoptilon mantchuricum





Brown-Eared Pheasant Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a brown-eared pheasant?

The brown-eared pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) is a type of bird. It is the rarest species in the genus Crossoptilon.

What class of animal does a brown-eared pheasant belong to?

Brown-eared pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) belongs to the class Aves. Furthermore, it belongs to the family Phasianidae and genus Crossoptilon. The genus Crossoptilon has the following four species: the white-eared pheasant, the Tibetan-eared pheasant, the blue-eared pheasant, and of course, the brown-eared pheasant.

How many brown-eared pheasants are there in the world?

There are between 3,300-11,000 mature brown-eared pheasants in the world, according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Where does a brown-eared pheasant live?

In terms of geographical distribution, the brown-eared pheasants are endemic to western China, Tibet, and Mongolia. In terms of landforms, this bird is generally spotted on the slopes of high mountains or plateaus.

What is a brown-eared pheasant's habitat?

Being endemic to western China, the brown-eared pheasants are known to inhabit attitudes between 3609-8530 ft (1100-2600 m). They live in high plateaus that have mixed coniferous and deciduous forests.

Who do brown-eared pheasants live with?

Brown-eared pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) is a social bird that is commonly found in flocks of size between 10-30 birds. It is also observed that brown-eared pheasants form pair bonds. These pair bonds are often formed for life.

How long does a brown-eared pheasant live?

There is no credible information on the lifespan of brown-eared pheasants. Pheasants, in general, live between 11-18 years in captivity and only an average of three years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Brown-eared pheasant's breeding season occurs between April and June. They reach sexual maturity by their second year. In the month of April itself, you can see the males present the females with food to court them. In addition, they make a distinct 'trip-crrr-ah' call from branches of plants or trees to establish territory. Despite their territorial behavior, the breeding season is a peaceful affair. After the birds copulate, the female lays a clutch of about five to eight eggs. These eggs are colored in shades of pale stone green. It has been observed that the female lays a smaller clutch of eggs in their first year as compared to the second year of laying eggs. The oval eggs take 28 days of incubation before the brown-eared pheasant chicks hatch from the eggs. The female, in this case, is alone responsible for the incubation of the eggs.

What is their conservation status?

The brown-eared pheasant is listed as Vulnerable according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). It is, in fact, the rarest species of the genus Crossoptilon. Habitat loss and hunting have been the main drivers of their dwindling population. To make a positive and lasting difference to the future of this species, the pheasant trust has been breeding this pheasant in captivity. Brown-eared pheasant hatchlings are reintroduced in the wild by this organization.

Brown-Eared Pheasant Fun Facts

What do brown-eared pheasants look like?

Brown-eared pheasant range map is located in the countries of China, Tibet, and Mongolia.

The brown-eared pheasant is a large bird that is dark brown in plumage color. Although the glossy brown plumage of both sexes is similar, there is a notable difference in size. The females are generally smaller in size than the males and also do not have any leg spurs. These birds have long whitish-cream to light cream-colored tail feathers. They have about 22 of these ornamental long tail feathers that curve and are tipped by darker shades of brown. Their wing coverts have a glossy purplish appearance, while their rump and the upper tail is a silver-white color. The most intricate features are on their head. Brown-eared pheasants have a black crown and long creamy white ear tufts that are paired with red facial skin. This red coloration, along with the light cream tail coloration, adds to the vividness of their overall description.

How cute are they?

With a black crown, red face, and beautiful glossy brown plumage, the brown-eared pheasant is a magnificent large bird. Whether you'd call them cute is up to you, but their elegance is undeniable.

How do they communicate?

Brown-eared pheasants have calls that are commonly heard in the context of the breeding season in spring. The male utters the sound 'trip-crrr-ah', which intensifies in volume over time. Other calls are used by both males and females throughout the year.

How big is a brown-eared pheasant?

The brown-eared pheasants are between 37.7-39.3 in (96-100 cm). This qualifies the brown-eared pheasant as a relatively large bird. The volume of their ornamental tail feathers, too, gives them a larger appearance. In comparison, the birds are more than twice the size of short-eared owls. These pheasants are also thrice the size of eared grebes.

How fast can a brown-eared pheasant fly?

While their long ornamental feathers may lead one to believe otherwise, the brown-eared pheasant is not great at flying. The brown-eared pheasant can reach great speeds in short bursts when flying, but this large bird relies more on simply running on the ground.

How much does a brown-eared pheasant weigh?

The brown-eared pheasant is a large bird. The male weighs a bit more than its female counterpart. The male weighs between 3.5-5.5 lb (1.6-2.5 kg), while the female weighs in the range of 3-4.4 lb (1.4-2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female of this species are known as cocks and hens, respectively.

What would you call a baby brown-eared pheasant?

Brown-eared pheasant babies are referred to as chicks.

What do they eat?

Although brown-eared pheasant is an omnivore, its diet is mainly based on plants. Their diet mainly consists of roots, bulbs, seeds, tubers, and other underground vegetables. In addition to plant matter like seeds, they also prey on insects. Their food habits include them searching for food on the ground as well as digging for roots.

Are they dangerous?

The brown-eared pheasant is a pretty harmless bird. When they feel threatened, these birds will either freeze or run up a hill.

Would they make a good pet?

The brown-eared pheasant is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature); thus, it is not ethically sound to have them as pets. Best to admire these birds in their wild habitat.

Did you know...

What eats a brown-eared pheasant? Brown-eared pheasants are mainly threatened by predators like raptors that belong to the order Falconi-formes. This is the order that houses falcons. Predators include the shaheen falcon, which is a subspecies of the peregrine falcon.

The brown-eared pheasant was the first bird from the genus Crossoptilon to be bred in captivity. It was bred in Paris in 1864.

The brown-eared pheasant is closely related to the white-eared pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon) and the blue-eared pheasant (Crossoptilon auritum).

Are brown-eared pheasants endangered?

This bird is unfortunately on the brink of extinction and is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List. It is the rarest species in the genus Crossoptilon. The pheasant trust has been working to restore their population by breeding them in captivity (outside their traditional breeding season) and releasing the chicks into the wild. While this solution works well, the main cause for this bird's decline in population must be addressed, which is the loss of wild habitat and hunting.

What is unique about brown-eared pheasants?

These birds of China have a very unique appearance. Their face has a black crown, creamy white ear tufts, and red facial skin. Their disheveled plumage and glossy feathers give them a distinct look.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these partridge facts and fox sparrow facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable brown-eared pheasant coloring pages.



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