Cabot's Tragopan Pheasant

(Tragopan caboti)

The Cabot's Tragopan is endemic to South East China. Sadly it is an endangered species. The Cabot's Tragopan favours dense evergreen mainly broadleaf forests but much of its habitat is being wiped out in favour of farmland or conifer plantations. It is protected by cites legislation and is doing well in a few localised areas in China. Birds bought and sold must have their cites certificates with them. It is illegal to buy, sell or even gift birds without them. Trade in dead birds (normally this would be for taxidermy), eggs or feathers is also restricted.

The Cabot's are similar in size to the Temminck's Tragopan and smaller than the other Tragopans. They also have a bib and horns which are expanded in the same manner as all pheasants of their genus. The colourings on the Cabot's bib are predominantly bright blue and orange with pink markings. They have blue horns (these cannot be seen until they are inflated during the cock bird's display), an orange face and an orange and black head. The upper body is rust and black with buff coloured blotches and the breast and underparts are a creamy buff. There are no markings on the breast at all unlike the other Tragopans. The hens are similar to the other Tragopan hens although there is often orange skin noticeable on the face.

Again, like the other Tragopans, the Cabot's are friendly birds who love fruit, nuts and grain. They are quite playful often jumping on to boulders and then zooming off round their aviary a few times before coming to a standstill and sauntering over to see what is going on, then off they go to start the game again. The hens are likely to be of a calmer more quiet nature than the male and will come quietly to eat from your hand and stay patiently by your side.

The Tragopans mature in their second year. The breeding season starts early, for the Cabot's, towards the end of March. The hen will usually use a nestbox placed a few feet off the ground. She will lay 2 - 4 eggs in a clutch and can lay up to 12 eggs a year. Sadly, due to the shortage of available birds for breeding, this species has been very inbred and as a consequence many birds do not breed well or are infertile. It is of the utmost importance therefore that the best birds are always used as breeding stock. Due to the vulnerability of these birds it is best for them if they are kept by serious breeders who will keep good records not only because this species must be cites registered but so that we can all help sustain good strong bloodlines as every bird could be vital to save this precious species from extinction.

Cabot Tragopan cock Pheasant Cabot Tragopan Pheasant hen dustbathing
Back to top.