The Himalayan Monal also known as ‘’Danfe/Danphe’’ is the national bird of Nepal. Himalayan monal favors the oak conifer Himalayan forests with rich rhododendrons at elevations of (6500 ft – 16000 ft). This bird looks beautiful and attractive as it is displayed as colorful. It is a relatively large-sized pheasant with a length of (62CM – 70CM) and an average weight of an adult is 1.70kg to 2.50kg. Himalayan monal is mostly active during the day and spends a lot of their time foraging.
It reproduces in the season of April to August and lays 3-5 eggs per season. Himalayan monal incubates eggs for 27 days & young birds take 6 months for complete independence. Himalayan monal eats mixed vegetables, game bird chow, roots, tubers, and insect seeds. The Himalayan monal is also the state bird of Uttarakhand, India.
KINGDOM – ANIMALIA
PHYLUM – CHORDATA
CLASS – AVES
ORDER – GALLIFORMES
FAMILY – PHASIANIDAE
GENUS – LOPHOPHORUS
SPECIES – LOPHOPHORUS IMPEJANUS
The male Himalayan monal is quite different from the female. The adult male has multicolored plumage. Male Himalayan monals have bright blue, green, purple, light yellow, brown, black, and red feathers. Their underside is black; with a white patch of feathers underneath the base of their tail. At the base of the neck is a yellow patch that forms the top edge of the bluish-black wings and purple back. They chestnut brown tail and light brown wings with white rump visible in flight. The head is bright green, and males have metallic-green crests on top of their heads. They have bare patches of turquoise blue skin around the eyes; males are uniformly rufous becoming darker towards the tips whereas females’ lower tail coverts are white barred with black and red.
Females are less colorful than males. Females have grayish-brown upper parts with white stick lines, black spots, and mottled brownish-black feathers on their underparts. The throat of females is white. The female’s lower tail feathers are white, barred with black, and rufous. Females also have crests; the males’ crests are green and spoon-shaped while female crests are shorter and brown with Ordina feathers. Juvenile females look very similar to adult females, except for their brown appearance instead of grey. Their feathers also have white and black stripes on certain parts.
The Himalayan monal is the national bird of Nepal, mostly living in cold Himalayan hills from Nepal, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Tibet. In the context of Nepal, Himalayan monal is found in Sagarmatha National Park in Solukhumbu, Okhaldhunga, and Sankhuwasabha. Himalayan monal can be seen in Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, and Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Himalayan monal generally lives for 7-10 years in human care.