Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Himalayan Monal

The Himalayan monal belongs to pheasant family and also known as impeyan monal, impeyan pheasant. This bird habitats from eastern Afghanistan to Napal including Uttrakhand. This bird species lives in upper temperate oak – conifer forests between 2400 and 4500, commonly between 2700 mtr. to 3700 mtr. Sometimes, it may descend to 2000 mtr. in the winters.

Male : The adult has multi-coloured plumage. Notable features include a long metallic green crest, coppery feathers on the neck and back and a prominent white rump when in flight. The tail feathers are uniformly patterned getting darker towards tips. During first year, the male resembles the female.
Weight : 2380 gm Length : 70 cm

Female : The female is dull in colour. The tail side is white, barred with black and red. There is a white prominent patch on the throat and white strips on the trail.
Weight: 2150 gm Length : 70 cm
Food : roots, insects, invertebrates.

This bird is a national bird of Nepal and the state bird of Uttarakhand and Himanchal Pradesh, where it is known as monal. This bird is not an endangered species and can be found from eastern Afghanistan to Nepal.

This bird has high level of communication ability and uses different call types to express meaning. Like other birds, the male monal uses body display to attract the female by fanning the tail and bobbing the head-crest. During display, the pattern of calling changes to through out the day from only in the morning. The female lays three to five eggs and incubates for 27 days.  The young one gets completely free after six month's care.  

The species is threatened due to poaching and other anthropogenic factors. The male monal was a hunting target in Himanchal Pradesh for the feather which was used as a decorative piece on men’s hats until 1982, when the hunting got banned. Now in some areas, the population density of this bird is as high as five pairs per square mile.