Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Near Threatened

White Eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon)


French: Hokki blanc German: Weißer Ohrfasan Spanish: Faisán orejudo blanco

Phasianus crossoptilon


, 1838,

probably west China


Taxon harmani here considered a distinct species on account of mid-grey upperparts and underparts (except for white throat, neck-sides and mid-belly and whitish-grey rump), with white belly patch vs pale grey in morphologically closest form dolani (2); neck greyish-black, causing white throat and narrow white collar to stand out sharply (3); white belly patch vs none (1); slightly smaller size (on small sample, NHMUK, where mean wing 286 vs 310; at least 1). Intergrades among races reported, suggesting that several may be of dubious validity; drouynii found to exhibit individual variation at one site#R. Four subspecies currently recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. dolani Meyer de Schauensee, 1937 – WC China (SE Qinghai).
  • C. c. drouynii J. P. Verreaux, 1868 – E Tibet (between R Yangtze and R Salween).
  • C. c. crossoptilon (Hodgson, 1838) – WC China (SE Tibet and W Sichuan); and possibly NE India (NE Arunachal)#R.
  • C. c. lichiangense Delacour, 1945 – SC China (SW Sichuan to NW Yunnan).
  • Descriptive notes

    75–96 cm; tail 46–58 cm; male 2350–2750 g, female 1400–2050 g. Unmistakable. Ear-tufts shorter than those of other eared-pheasants. Female resembles... read more


    Advertising call is a fast-tempo, raucous, grating “gag, gag, gagerah, gagerah, gagerah,... read more


    Subalpine coniferous forest, oak, birch, rhododendron and juniper scrub between 3500 m and 4300 m,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Believed to feed on lily bulbs and stems and bulbs of wild onions; one crop in Dec was full of juniper berries; seen feeding on rowan/... read more


    Little information from the wild. Considered monogamous. Eggs probably laid in May–Jun; two nests in late May, one in NE Assam (... read more


    Some altitudinal movement recorded. In summer occurs in alpine meadows, in winter descending... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not considered globally threatened. Currently treated as Near Threatened. Formerly considered Vulnerable. CITES I. Species has a large range, but one within which its rather... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K., Kirwan, G.M. & Christie, D.A. (2019). White Eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon). 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 6 December 2019).