Aves Galliformes Phasianidae Chrysolophus Amherstiae
The Lady Amherst is a close relative of the Golden pheasant and will breed with the Golden if given the opportunity and a private room. Like its close cousin, the Amherst has some feral populations outside of its native western China, the United States being one of them. The population is in stark decline in Great Britain however. Also like the Golden, the Amherst is able to hide very successfully in the wild, making knowledge about their natural behaviors scarce. The name “Amherst” is in commemoration of the first of these pheasants to be sent to England by the then Governor General of Bengal at the behest of his wife in 1828. Obviously the Amherst is a much more recent pheasant than the Golden who had already enjoyed US popularity before the revolution. These ornamental pheasants enjoyed enormous popularity during the Victorian times because of their ease of breeding, extraordinary plumage, and tasty muscle tissue. Others that fall into this category for one reason or the other are the Impeyan Pheasant, Temminck’s Blythe’s, Satyr, and Cabot’s Tragopan, Reeves Pheasant, Elliot Pheasant, and quite a few more. It should of course be noted that these birds hold names of men and women of importance during the age of discovery. Generally one can assume if the bird is easy to put in a garden and looks really pretty it will be named after someone with money or power. However if the bird is moody, difficult to raise in captivity, or is fairly rare, it will be named after the naturalist who found it or wrote about it.