A Surprise

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Surprise. Cheer PheasantThe air felt fresh on my nostrils as I ascended around 2000 meters. Rajesh Panwar (an avid birder and owner of Camp Milieu, Uttarakhand) is generous in sharing all his experiences each time on a birding tour under his guidance. This time was no less. There is talk about habitat, birds, animals, new interests, fresh ideas, thoughts. To me each species is a kick. The repeats have given me a new perspective. In general it was becoming a solitary journey in finding a companion in myself.

Around dusk, when the skies were kissed with few twinkles, the jackpot of the day was the rarely found vulnerable Cheer Pheasant. It was a surprise as it flew across the valley while driving back to the hotel. We stopped the car and quickly made took a few shots. The pheasant made a swift dart and landed on the rocks.

They lack the color like the other pheasants. The male has red facial skin with brown/black bars on the feathers. The female is smaller in size. Cheer Pheasants are found in the high altitudes of the Himalayas. Apparently their numbers have been reducing due to human occupancy and hunting.


  • Species name- Cheer Pheasant, Catreus wallichii
  • Place of shot – Munsiyari , Uttarakhand
  • Season- February 2016