Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Bronze-tailed Peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron chalcurum)


French: Éperonnier à queue bronzée German: Bronzepfaufasan Spanish: Espolonero colibronceado
Other common names: Sumatran Peacock-pheasant

Polyplectrum chalcurum


, 1831,

Java; error = Bengkulu, west Sumatra


Formerly placed in genus Chalcurus together with P. inopinatum. There is some evidence to suggest that present species forms a clade with P. germaini, P. katsumatae, P. bicalcaratum and P. inopinatum to the exclusion of the remaining members of the genus#R. Genetic data indicate that present species is most closely related to P. bicalcaratum and that these two species evolved most recently within the genus#R. May be most closely related to P. bicalcaratum#R. Validity of race scutulatum has been questioned, as differences are slight and are masked by considerable variation among individuals#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. scutulatum Chasen, 1941 – mountains of N Sumatra.
  • P. c. chalcurum Lesson, 1831 – mountains of S Sumatra (S of Equator).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male c. 56 cm (tail 26–38 cm), 370–590 g; female c. 40 cm (tail 18–22 cm), 238–269 g. Only member of genus in which both sexes have no ocelli at all;... read more


    Male gives far-carrying “karau, karau, karau” with slightly higher-pitched second note... read more


    Inhabits variety of lower montane forest habitats, including both undisturbed and logged forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Several crops contained small fruits and insects. No further information available.


    Poorly known. One nest with two eggs in Sept was at the base of a tree, hidden within clump of grass; nest cup-shaped, c. 15 cm wide and 10... read more


    No information available; birds prefer to slink away from danger through undergrowth.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: vulnerable. Restricted range, occurring in Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia (above 600 m) Endemic Bird Area. Known from... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Bronze-tailed Peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron chalcurum). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 March 2018).