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Tragopans

Tragopans are members of the attractive bird family Phasianidae, which also includes pheasants, peafowl, partridges, guinea fowl, and turkeys.

There are various species of tragopans in Afghanistan, eastward as far as Tibet, and in the Himalayas, in the same area as Ithaginus cruentus, a related short-tailed species. Tragopans, however, are more colorful. Tragopans spend much of their time in the crowns of trees where they find most of their food. Their diet consists primarily of insects, leaves, fruits, and seeds.

Satyr Tragopan, Tragopan satyra, of the Himalayas, is a deep cherry red, varied with white and brown. The male bird has large areas of bare blue skin on its cheeks and two finger-like wattles of the same color behind the eyes. During courting these areas become very noticeable as they swell up with blood.

Sophie Jakowska

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