Himalayan Monal

Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus occurs across Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Burma. In China in southern Tibet. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR In summer on rocky slopes above timberline, to 4500 m (14,760 ft.); winter in open coniferous and broadleaved forests, to 2100 m (6,890 ft.). Male performs courtship display dance with raised wings and tail. ID & COMPARISON Like other male monals, male has iridescent, multi-colored plumage; unlike other male monals, has wiry, spatulate-tipped crest and entirely rufous tail. Distinguished from Chinese Monal L. lhuysii by blue orbital skin that encircles eye and olive-green hue to golden mantle. Female distinguished from female Chinese Monal by short crest, more extensive and contrasting all-white throat patch, and more uniformly brown ground color (less black) with more extensive buff streaking. Lacks white on back but has white U-shaped stripe on uppertail coverts and a very thin white tail tip. BARE PARTS Feet grey in male, horn-grey in female; bill grey. VOICE Sharp, curlew-like whistle from exposed rock. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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