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About Malayan Peacock Pheasant (Click-Readmore)

The Malayan Peacock Pheasant

Scientific name: Polyplectron malacense
Higher classification: Peacock-pheasant
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Land fowl
Rank: Species


It is one of the shortest-tailed peacock-pheasants. Adult males are about 50 cm long, about half of which is made up by the tail. Their tarsus measures approximately 6.5 cm, and their wings are 20–21 cm long; they weigh from over 600 to nearly 700 g. Their plumage is generally pale brown with small black spots and bands all over, creating the "salt-and-pepper" effect found in most peacock-pheasants. It has iridescent blue-green eyespots with a buff border on its upper wings, back, a white throat running down to the centre of the breast, and a loose, pointed and upturned dark blue-green crest on its forehead. A bare facial skin surrounds the eyes with their bluish-white iris. The bill and legs are blackish. The female is slightly smaller than the male, with a noticeably shorter tail.

Distribution and habitat

A shy and elusive bird, the Malayan peacock-pheasant is endemic to lowland forests of the Malay Peninsula from the Isthmus of Kra region, Thailand southwards.


Recorded food items include insects such as Diptera, Orthoptera and Hymenoptera (e.g. carpenter ants), molluscs, isopods Camponotus,  fruits and seeds of Annonaceae, Fabaceae and Fagaceae (e.g. stone oaks, Lithocarpus).


Breeding activity may occur essentially all year around as in many lowland rainforest birds. The Malayan Peacock-Pheasant is unusual in laying just one, very large egg in comparison to its size, which is then incubated for 22 – 23 days. The nest is somewhat vestigial, consisting of twigs and large leaves scraped together on low-lying firm ground, be it on a termite mound a short distance above the forest floor, or the forest floor itself.