Birds – Cheer Pheasant

Also inhabiting the Himalayas, from Nepal to Chamba, is the Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichi), which is the only representative of its genus. The male attains a length of thirty-four inches, over twenty of which are taken up by the long, straight, pointed tail, while the female is but thirty inches and has the tail about fifteen inches. The male has a crest of soft, narrow feathers, quite three inches long and dark brown in color, the general upper plumage being pale buff, barred with black and pale blue bands; the female has the mantle chestnut, each feather with a pair of black oval spots. The Cheer inhabits the lower ranges, being partial to grassy hills with a scattered forest of oak and small patches of under wood, as well as hills covered with pines. Separating into pairs during the nesting season, they congregate in small flocks during the other seasons and are quite limited in their wanderings. “Both males and females crow at daybreak and dusk, and in cloudy weather sometimes during the day.”