The adult male is 90–105 cm in length, its tail accounting for two-thirds of the total length. It is unmistakable with its golden crest and rump and bright red body. The deep orange "cape" can be spread in display, appearing as an alternating black and orange fan that covers all of the face except its bright yellow eye with a pinpoint black pupil.
The female is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage. She is darker and more slender than the male of that species, with a proportionately longer tail (half her 60–80 cm length). The female's breast and sides are barred buff and blackish brown, and the abdomen is plain buff.
Despite the male's showy appearance, these birds are very difficult to see in their natural habitat, which is dense, dark young conifer forests with sparse undergrowth. Consequently, little is known about their behaviour in the wild. Although they can fly in short bursts, they are quite clumsy in flight and spend most of their time on the ground. They tend to eat berries, grubs, seeds and other types of vegetation.
Golden Pheasants lay 8-12 eggs at a time and will then incubate these for around 22–23 days. Golden Pheasant is included on the list of endangered and protected species of China; and its habitat is protected.
To propagate and promote the concept of "Protection of Endangered Species", on January 25, 1979, the Ministry of the Posts and Telecommunications of People's Republic of China released a set of three stamps on Golden Pheasants.
(3-1) 4 fen, A pair of golden pheasants 竹石金鸡
(3-2) 8 fen, A flying pheasant 金鸡展翅
(3-3) 45 fen, A golden pheasant 金鸡觅食
(3-1)【A pair of golden pheasants】 The stamp depicts a male and female golden pheasant roosting on a rock against a background of bamboo. The stamp shows the different in color of the bird - brightly colored male and the dull colored female.
(3-2)【A flying pheasant】 The stamp depicts a male bird in flight.
(3-3)【A golden pheasant】 The stamp depicts a male bird seeking for food on the ground.
|T35 – Golden Pheasants 金鸡|
Issue Date: 1979.1.25
|Number of stamps in Set:||3|
|Denomination:||4 fen for stamp 1|
8 fen for stamp 2
45 fen for stamp 3
|Quantity of Issue:||8,000,000 for stamp 1, 2|
2,000,000 for stamp 3
|Sheet Composition:||40 (10 X 4) for stamp 1, 2, 3|
|Size of stamps:||31 X 52 mm for stamp 1, 2, 3|
|Designer:||Liu Shuoren 刘硕仁|
|Printing House:||Beijing Postage Stamp Printing Works|