21 Chinese Monal Facts You’ll Never Forget

Chinese Monal

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The Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii) is a beautiful bird of the Phasianidae family. It is endemic to the mountains of Central China and Tibet. Their vibrant plumage has a reddish-gold mantle bluish hue that immediately captures the eyes of the beholder. The alluring blue bare skin around with a large drooping purple crest is quite an exquisite sight to gaze at. They are seen inhabiting the high altitudes of the Himalayas foraging on roots, bulbs, seeds, leaves, and flowers. They prey on small insects as well.

These attractive birds are spotted in groups of 2-8 and are able to dig through snow during winter to search for food. Their clutch size is 3-5 and the male has a large droopy crest. The Chinese monal is a monotypic bird species. They are listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List, due to loss of habitat and illegal poaching. Furthermore, the Chinese monal range is restricted, which directly contributes to their declining population. Keep on reading to know more intriguing facts on the Chinese monal birds.

If you liked reading this article, then do check out the black cuckoo and the yellow-billed cuckoo, here on Kidadl.

Chinese Monal Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Chinese monal?

The Chinese monal is a bird belonging to the Phasianidae family, whose plumage is highly colorful.

What class of animal does a Chinese monal belong to?

Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii) belongs to the class Aves, just like the Malabar lark and the grey go-away birds.

How many Chinese monals are there in the world?

The total number of Chinese monals is estimated to be between 2500-10000, and their population is declining to a great extent.

Where does a Chinese monal live?

The Chinese monal pheasant resides in the high mountain ranges of the Himalayas in Central China and Tibet. In China, their range extends from Sichuan to North-west Yunnan.

What is a Chinese monal's habitat?

These bird species inhabit the alpine and the subalpine meadow of the Himalayan mountains. They reside in coniferous forests. The Chinese monals are also spotted in small groups foraging in the Rhododendron forests.

Who do Chinese Monals live with?

These colorful monals of China reside in groups of 2-8, especially in winters, and are known to roost communally. They are also spotted foraging alone on the forest grounds.

How long does a Chinese monal live?

The lifespan of the Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii) is unknown. However, other bird species belonging to the same Phasianidae family, like the golden pheasant, are known to live for about 5-8 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The Chinese monals reproduce by laying eggs. Their clutch size is about 3-5 and their breeding season is between March to June. The Chinese monal pheasant female builds its nest beside crags with plenty of snow at an elevation of 3900 m (3.9 km). Their incubation period lasts for about 28 days. The male monal is known to reach maturity at three years of age, however, the female monal matures at about two years. Their eggs are yellowish in color with brown spots all over. Sexual dimorphism is seen, where the female is dark brown and bears a patch of white on its throat. The females also possess a dark brown with white preorbital skin, which is bright blue in the male Chinese monal. The male has a large crest with green feathers and black underparts.

What is their conservation status Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii?

The Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii) is listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List. Their population is declining at a rapid rate owing to habitat loss and restricted range. Furthermore, these pheasants are used as game birds and therefore, a high number of illegal poaching of the monals, also contributed to their decreasing population.

Chinese Monal Fun Facts

What do Chinese monals look like?

The Chinese monal has a vibrant plumage that consists of mantle bluish-green feathers. The upper parts of the body also comprise hues of gold, mantle, bluish-green colors. This mantle bluish-green feathers are lined by reddish gold, mantle bluish stripes, which impart a brilliant sparkle under the light. The green head, blue bare skin, and eyes (a reddish-gold) accentuate the beautiful large drooping purple crest. All these features, the purple crest, a metallic green head, blue bare skin, eyes (a reddish-brown), impart a highly captivating look to the bird. The female is dark brown with a purple crest, metallic green feathers, and black underparts. The female monal is dark brown with white on its throat.

(The Chinese monal has a metallic green head, blue bare skin around the eyes, and a large tail.)

*We've been unable to source an image of a Himalayan monal and have used an image of a Chinese monal instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Himalayan monal, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How cute are they?

The Chinese monal is extremely cute because of their gold mantle bluish-green plumage and bare blue skin around the eyes - a reddish-gold in color. This exquisite array of coloration makes them a fascinating bird species to look at.

How do they communicate?

They communicate through their series of whistled notes that are produced at certain intervals. Their voice is high pitched which gradually decreases to become mournful, and eventually fades away.

How big is a Chinese monal?

The Chinese monal is about 29.5-31.4 in (75-80 cm) in length and is way bigger than the Japanese bush warbler, which is only about 6.1 in (15.5 cm).

How fast can a Chinese monal fly?

While the exact flying speed of the Chinese monal is not known, pheasant birds belonging to the same Phasianidae family possesses a speed of about 27-38 mph (43-61 kph).

How much does a Chinese monal weigh?

The Chinese monal weighs about 6.2-7.0 lb (2.8-3.1 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to the male and females of this species.

What would you call a baby Chinese monal?

A baby Chinese monal is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The Chinese monal feeds on roots, bulbs, leaves, flowers, and seeds, with Fritillaria bulbs being their favorite. These birds also prey on small insects.

Are they dangerous?

Chinese monals are used as game birds and therefore, are not dangerous at all. They do not impose any threat on humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Male monals are kept as pets and used as game birds, while the female Chinese monal Lisa is bred in farms for eggs.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The Chinese monal symbolism is very important to the natives of China and Tibet and is thought to showcase the wearer's authority and status.

Their plumage exhibits iridescence and they are considered to be one of the largest pheasant birds after turkeys. Despite the initiatives taken by the Beijing Zoo and the London Zoo, their breeding population is still vulnerable.

Different types of Chinese monal

The Chinese monal is a monotypic species, however, they are closely related to the two other subspecies of the monals - the Himalayan monal (Lophophorus impejanus) and the Sclater's monal (Lophophorus sclateri).

How are male and female Chinese monals different?

The plumage is highly vibrant in males than in females. Males have a purple crest, a metallic green plumage with black underparts. The female is dark brown in color with a white throat.

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 Koklass pheasant facts and Argus pheasant facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bird coloring pages.

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