The golden pheasant is a bird native to forests and mountainous areas of China, although feral populations have been established in
the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, and many other countries in Europe and South America.
The male’s deep orange “cape” can be spread in display, appearing as an alternating black and orange fan that covers all of the face except its bright yellow eye with a pinpoint black pupil. The female is a more subdued brown, shown in the foreground of photo 6.
So this is what Leo looks like when hes molting. I took these pictures after he had a bath, so you can see the pin feathers better. Red Golden pheasant males like Leo have a ‘cape’ of feathers that they extend when in display. In order to do this they have special muscles and thicker feathers. So when they are grown in they are beautiful, but when they molt it looks rather disturbing.
Also included a pic of after he was dry as a reference.
I realize it’s common for male and female birds of the same species often have different colors, but Ring-necked Pheasants take this to an extreme. A transplant from Asia, the males have an amazing diversity of colors. I think the understated beauty of the hens is highly underrated.