Are Mikado Pheasants Good Pets?

Mikado Pheasants are long-tailed Pheasants belonging to the genus Syrmaticus, that roam amongst bamboo and shrubs in central Taiwan. The bird is considered the unofficial National bird of Taiwan. The bird is depicted in the 100-dollar bill in the New Taiwanese Dollar.

Are Mikado Pheasants Good Pet?

Mikado Pheasants- In a Glimpse:

Common NameMikado Pheasant
Scientific NameSyrmaticus mikado
Sexual Dimorphism?Yes
Adult Length (Male)70 cm
Adult Length (Female)45-50 cm
Adult Colour (Male)Blue-Violet
Adult Colour (Female)Brown
Adult Weight2.5-3 lbs
Lifespan8-10 Years
HabitatDense shrubs, bamboo gardens and grassy terrain
Dietsfruits, leaves, vegetation, seeds and invertebrates
Breeding SeasonMarch-June
Litter Size3-8
Predatorsdogs, foxes, wolves, owls and hawks
IUCN StatusNear Threatened

Everything About Mikado Pheasants:

Scientific Classification:

Species:Syrmaticus mikado

Physical Appearance:

male mikado pheasants

Sexual dimorphism is present in the species. The male pheasants are as long as 70 cm including tails whereas females are about 45-50 cm long. Males are blue-violet in colour and have white stripes on their wings and tails. Females are brown and they have brown and white quills.

The long and stripped feathers of males are used in the traditional headdresses of many tribes in Taiwan. The pheasants can weigh up to 2.5-3 lbs. Females have a red wattle, although it appears paler than the males. The Mikado Pheasants are also termed as “Emperor Pheasants”.


In the wild, the bird can live up to 8-10 years. But in captivity, they can live up to 16 years.

Range and Habitat:

Mikado Pheasants are endemic to Taiwan, especially, in the mountainous region of central Taiwan. Dense shrubs, bamboo gardens and grassy terrain with conifers are their preferred habitat. They are often found in central and southern Taiwan, at an elevation of 2000-3000m above sea level.


Syrmaticus mikado

The pheasants often arrive in light rain or after a heavy shower when the mist conceals them. The pheasants are often solitary but can be found in pairs as well. The bird is usually associated with humans where the human tends to feed them. If they are disturbed, they often take shelter in the deep vegetation instead of fluttering away in panic. If desperate, the bird often flies a short distance.

The males are territorial with a range of 200-400 meters in radius. Both genders perform a wing-whirring display and during breeding season the male runs laterally with body expanded and tail fanned.

Mikado Pheasants are crepuscular, which means they are mostly active during twilight, especially in 5-6 a.m. or 6-7 p.m., which is the best time to watch them. However, this time may vary according to seasonal variations.

Also Read: Northern Plains Gray Langurs: 6 Interesting Facts


The pheasants often come out to forage for foods which often consist of fruits, leaves, vegetation, seeds and invertebrates which are similar to chicken.


There are primarily 6 types of vocalization techniques that Mikado Pheasants show.

Gu Gu GuMost commonly used sound performed while relaxing or walking in light rains
Ko Ko Kois Performed during mating season or if they detect potential threats
Ji Ji JiLess frequent sound, used to indicate immediate danger from outsiders.
Cu Cu CuHighest pitched sound when they startled and take flight
Hu Hu HuPerformed while launching an attack with their beak and claws
Ke Ke KeMales use the sound while fighting for their mate or territory. 


The mating season of Mikado Pheasants is scheduled between March and June. The pheasants make their home with dead branches, leaves, dry grass or with their feathers in tree holes or depressions under rocks.

Females usually lay between 3 and 8 creamy-coloured eggs at a time and the females are solely responsible for the incubation. The eggs take around 28 days to hatch. Once the young are born, they take at least six months to be independent.


People sometimes keep the pheasants as a pets. The gorgeous bird is not raised for its eggs or meat due to its scarcity. Mikado Pheasants are usually known as ornamental birds. The feathers of males are usually used in headdresses of local tribes. 

Some people also breed the bird due to its appearance, hardiness and chatty nature. Many enthusiasts also enjoy the unique vocalization of the bird.


At present, there are around 10,000 Mikado Pheasants in the wild. The major threat to the bird is heavy hunting, but right now it is not a serious threat like it used to be.


The main predators of Mikado Pheasants are dogs, foxes, wolves, owls and hawks.

Also Read: Bonnet Macaque: 6 Fascinating Facts About the Endangered

Conservation Status:

The bird is listed as “Near Threatened” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is also listed in Appendix I of CITES.

Are Mikado Pheasants a Good Pet?


The Mikados are well established in captivity. They are lovely birds to keep and their vocalizations are pleasant to listen to. They also become bold and friendly if you can provide plenty of vegetation and food. They are neither shy nor noisy, their vocalization can transform your bad mood into a good one. They are not only amusing or interesting but also easy to care of. 

Housing for Mikados:

A good size aviary for these pheasants will be 200 sq ft. It should be well-planted and a pen (4’*4’*4’) should be provided as shelter. 

Mikados can be successfully bred in pairs or trios but you should provide the hen with plenty of dense vegetation during the breeding season. 

Are Mikado Pheasants Good for small-scale farming?

Mikados are not raised for meats or eggs, rather they are raised for ornamental uses or enjoyment. If you are farming Mikados on a small scale then you can sell them for pets but that is also not easy because the bird needs a lot of green space. 

Pet culture is widely popular in the urban world and you rarely see much green space in urban that the pheasant requires. But if you have an excellent network to sell them or to export them, you can farm them and generate good revenue from it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

 What Colour Are the Mikado Pheasants?

Males are blue-violet in colour and have white stripes on their wings and tails. Females are brown and they have brown and white quills.

What is the lifespan of a Mikado Pheasant?

 In the wild, the bird can live up to 8-10 years. But in captivity, they can live up to 16 years.

What are the rarest pheasants?

Vietnamese fireback pheasant is considered the rarest and newest pheasant in the world. They were discovered in 1964. They are also known as Vo Quy’s pheasant,

Is there anything that is a blue pheasant?

Taiwanese Pheasants or Mikado pheasants, especially the male pheasants of the breed are blue-violet in colour.

What is the most aggressive pheasant?

Reeves’s pheasants are very aggressive towards humans and other animals, especially during breeding season.

What is the friendliest pheasant?

 Golden Pheasants; are one of the friendliest, cheapest and most beautiful pheasants. They are easily available compared to other Pheasants. They even eat food from strangers’ hands without any hesitation.

Also Read: Formosan Rock Macaque: The Only Native Primate in Taiwan

Also Read: Plateau Pika: 7 Fascinating Facts About Black-Lipped Pikas

Daniel Caves, a renowned journalist and expert in the field of animals and pets, has dedicated his career to shedding light on the fascinating world of animal behavior, welfare, and conservation. With a passion for storytelling and a deep understanding of the bond between humans and animals, Daniel's work has captivated audiences worldwide, inspiring compassion and advocacy for our furry, feathered, and scaled companions. His insightful reporting and expertise have earned him recognition as a leading voice in the field, shaping conversations and driving positive change for the welfare of animals everywhere.

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