Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii
- Catreus : Greek word katreus bird mentioned byAelianus associated it with the pheasant
- Wallichii: Named after Danish Botanist Nathaniel Wallich (1786–1854)
Vernacular Names: Pakistan: Rehar, Kash: Reear, U.P.: Chir, Chihir, Bunchil, Herril, H.P.: (M) Chaman, (F) Chamani, Nepal: Chir, Chihir
Distribution in India: Resident of Western Himalayas (Uttarakhand)
Description: Size of male is 90–118 cm (tail 45–58 cm), wt. of male is 1250–1800 g; Size of female is 61–76 cm (tail 32–47 cm), wt. of female is 900–1360 g. It has a crest of long, hair-like feathers on rear crown and very long, pointed and graduated tail. It has very variable black markings on upperwing-coverts and on underparts. The male has one spur. The female is considerably smaller, browner above and has shorter tail and unspurred. Even in flight, barred tail and pale barring on wings should prove highly distinctive. It has pale yellowish-brown to pale bluish-horn bill ,crimson-red Pre- orbital skin , golden-brown irides, and relatively short, greyish-brown to flesh-brown legs. The juvenile is like female but duller, is less boldly marked and lacks crest.
Habitat: It breeds in steep grassy and craggy hillsides covered with scrub, stunted trees, and in secondary vegetation, from 1200 m up to 3050 m.,
Food Habits: It eats roots, tubers, bulbs, buried seeds and insect larvae and earthworms. It forages by digging deep and can be seen in pairs.
Breeding habits: They breed in Apr–Jun, depending upon altitude. They are monogamous, calling at dawn and dusk throughout year. They nest in precipitous areas, located in grass, at base of rocky crag, but no real scrape formed. They lay a clutch of 8–10 eggs. The incubation period is 26 days. The incubation is done by female alone, although male stays close by and tends young post-hatching.