Great Argus

Argusianus argus. Also Argus pheasant. Schönbrunn Zoo. 1932.
Its magnificent plumage makes the Great Argus a popular but challenging aviary bird. This cock from Schönbrunn Zoo was particularly dramatically mounted.

The extremely shy Great Argus lives in the lowland rainforests of East Asia; growing up to two meters in length, they are among the largest of the pheasant species. The marked difference between the sexes is striking: while the hens are an inconspicuous brown, the cocks have greatly elongated lesser quill feathers decorated with large, radially arranged eye spots that are accentuated with shading and iridescence. In the courtship display, the cock spreads its wings like a fan and raises its tail feathers to impress the hen.