Pheasants & Partridges of Vietnam – Phasianidae

With 20 species of Pheasants & Partridges of Vietnam, occurring over the country, some species really hard to see Vietnam’s four endemic forest jewels, the striking Edwards’s Pheasant, Orange-necked Partridge, Vietnamese Crested Argus, Germain’s Peacock-Pheasant and the more understated, though equally desirable, Green Peafowl & Siamese Fireback, will, without doubt, appear near the top of any birders wish list. Being endemic, their ranges spill over borders into several neighbouring countries but Vietnam is unquestionably the stronghold of these two beauties of the forest floor.

You may know: Mention Vietnam to anyone who has spent time birding in the country or is perhaps planning a birding trip to Vietnam in the future and the names of two particular bird families will surely come up, pittas, Pheasants & Partridges

The overview of Pheasants & Partridges families

The Phasianidae are a family of heavy, ground-living birds, which includes pheasants, partridges, junglefowl, chickens, turkeys, Old World quail, and peafowl. The family includes many of the most popular gamebirds. The family is a large one and includes 185 species divided into 54 genera. It was formerly broken up into two subfamilies, the Phasianinae and the Perdicinae.

However, this treatment is now known to be paraphyletic and polyphyletic, respectively, and more recent evidence supports breaking it up into two subfamilies: Rollulinae and Phasianinae, with the latter containing multiple tribes within two clades. The New World quail (Odontophoridae) and guineafowl (Numididae) were formerly sometimes included in this family, but are now typically placed in families of their own; conversely, grouse and turkeys, formerly often treated as distinct families (Tetraonidae and Meleagrididae, respectively), are now known to be deeply nested within Phasianidae, so they are now included in the present family.

The Phasianidae are mostly an Old World family, with a distribution that includes most of Europe and Asia (except the far north), all of Africa except the driest deserts, and south into much of eastern Australia and (formerly) New Zealand. The Meleagridini (turkeys) are native to the New World, while the Tetraonini (grouse) are circumpolar; both of these are members of Phasianinae. The greatest diversity of species is in Southeast Asia and Africa. The Congo peacock is specific to the African Congo.

The family is generally sedentary and resident, although some members of the group undertake long migrations, like ptarmigans and Old World quail. Several species in the family have been widely introduced around the world, particularly pheasants, which have been introduced to Europe, Australia, and the Americas, specifically for hunting purposes. Captive populations of peafowl, domestic chickens, and turkeys have also escaped or been released and became feral.

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Some Highlight Pheasants & Partridges of Vietnam

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Orange-necked Partridge Arborophila davidi – Endemic

Status: Near-threatened

Best time to watch & Photo: Dec-Feb

Tour cover: Cat Tien Np.

Hotspot: Cat Tien Np.

Vietnam birds Endemic Tonkin Partridge

Tonkin Partridge A. tonkinensis

Status: (E Tonkin

Best time to watch & Photo: Jun-Aug

Tours: May – Sep

Hotspot: Cuc Phuong

Vietnam Birds endemic Edward’s Pheasant

Edwards’s Pheasant Lophura edwardsi – Endemic

Status: Critically endangered

Best time to watch & Photo: UNKNOW

Tours: North of Central Vietnam

Hotspot: Khe Nuoc Trong

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Vietnamese Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata – Endemic

Status: Critically endangered

Best time to watch & Photo: UNKOWN

Tours: Central Vietnam

Hotspot: Tay Giang, Dong Giang

Birds of Cat Tien National park - Germain's Peacock Pheasant

Germain’s Peacock-Pheasant Polyplectron germaini – Endemic

Status: Near-threatened

Best time to watch & Photo: Jan-Mar

Tours: Central Highland & South Vietnam

Hotspot: Cat Tien, Ma Da, Tan Phu, Dalat Pateau

Green Peafowl - Pheasants & Partridges of Vietnam

Green Peafowl Pavo muticus

Status: Endangered

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb-Apr

Tours: Central Highland, South of Central & South East Vietnam

Hotspot: Cat Tien Np., Yokdon Np.

Silver Pheasant

Silver Pheasant Lophura nycthemera

Status: Local common resident (throughout)

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb-Apr

Tours:

Hotspot: Cat Tien, Ma Da, Tan Phu

Siamese Fireback

Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi

Status: Common breeding (C&S Annam, pass migrant E Tokin)

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb-Apr

Tours:

Hotspot: Cat Tien, Nui Dinh, Ma Da

Asian Blue Quail

Asian Blue Quail Synoicus chinensis

Status: Rare breeding visitor (W Tonkin, S Annam, Cochinchina)

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb-Apr

Hotspot: Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta

List of all Pheasants and Partridges in Vietnam

Pheasants and Partridges in VietnamLevels
1Hill PartridgeHard
2Rufous-throated PartridgeEasy
3Bar-backed PartridgeEasy
4Orange-necked PartridgeMaybe
5Temminck’s TragopanHard
6Ring-necked PheasantHard
7Edwards’s PheasantImposible
8Silver PheasantMaybe
9Siamese FirebackEasy
10Vietnamese Crested ArgusHard
11Green PeafowlEasy
12Scaly-breasted PartridgeEasy
13Germain’s Peacock-PheasantEasy
14Gray Peacock-PheasantLack Data
15Mountain Bamboo-PartridgeLack Data
16Red JunglefowlEasy
17Chinese FrancolinEasy
18Japanese QuailEasy
19Blue-breasted QuailEasy
20Rain QuailEasy
Note: Hard – Really hard to see; Maybe – …..; Easy – Easy to see with guide; Impossible – Weak info; Lack Data – Consider out of list

All Vietnam Birds Families

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