Bhutan 2013 : Tragopan and Blood pheasant overload (3)

8 species of Pheasant are found in Bhutan but only 4 are widespread : Kaleej and Blood phesants, Himalyan Monal and Satyr Tragopan. Pheasants are always a birdwatcher’s favorite : males are usually spectacular, and they are hard to come by, as most species in most places are wary of humans because of rampant hunting and poaching. But in Bhutan, where all species are protected and poaching is scarce at most, they are relatively common, easy to see, and sometimes incredibly tame.

The best way to see them is to drive the road just after dawn or before dusk, when they are the most likely to come feeding on road sides. The car acts as a hide, and if you manage to spot them soon enough and stop the car, they will ignore it and stay in open view, offering great photo opportunities.

Just below our camp in Sengor, on the Lingmethang road, a male Satyr Tragopan was used to come feeding on the road at twilight hours, and i noticed an unusual feature : it had a thorn or a spine of some sort planted in the middle of the back, which did not seem to bother him at all. I first thought it could be from a porcupine but the perfect cylinder shape and glow suggests something metallic… if anyone has seen anything like that or has some idea that please comment !

8 thoughts on “Bhutan 2013 : Tragopan and Blood pheasant overload (3)

  1. Bonjour Yann,

    Mille mercis pour cette nouvelle page illustrant magnifiquement le lophophore resplendissant, le tragopan satyre et l’ithagine ensanglanté au Bhoutan. Je transmets cette page à d’autres membres de WPA France qui apprécieront également.
    Bien amicalement


  2. The “spine” on the Satyr male’s back looks like a radio trachking device to me. Maybe this bird is or has been studied at some time.

  3. Totally stunning set of photos, Yann!!! Makes me wanna go to Bhutan right away
    Agree that the spine on the back of the tragopan is a radio tracking. I’ve seen several birds with similar tracking device on the back.

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