- Crested Fireback
 - Crested Fireback (Bornean)
 - Crested Fireback (Bornean)
 - Crested Fireback (Malayan)

Crested Fireback Lophura ignita Scientific name definitions

Guy M. Kirwan, Josep del Hoyo, Philip J. K. McGowan, Nigel Collar, David Christie, and Peter F. D. Boesman
Version: 2.0 — Published September 24, 2021
Revision Notes

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An extremely colorful, large pheasant of lowland forests, the Crested Fireback is endemic to Sundaland, on the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo, where it is quite sparsely distributed. The male, like most pheasants, is striking with generally glossy blue-black plumage, a tufted crest, electric blue facial skin, a vivid flame-orange patch on its back (which gives rise to its name) and a bright white (or buff) tail. The female is expectedly much drabber, but still exhibits a crest and a large area of blue facial skin around the eye; her plumage is rich orange chestnut, with white streaking on the breast which becomes intricate white scaling towards the belly. The plumage variation exhibited by both sexes has long drawn attention, and some recent sources have treated the Bornean population (subspecies ignita and nobilis) as an independent species.

Both sexes are wary, inhabiting the dense undergrowth of rainforests and second growth (apparently with some preference for the vicinity of rivers and streams) in small groups of 5–6. Their strange contact calls are often the first sign of the species’ presence. In some places, however, they can become rather habituated to humans, feeding at the edges of campsites, for example. Like all Asian pheasant species, loss of lowland forest and local hunting pressures threaten this species; since 2020, both the Bornean and Malayan populations (treated as separate species by BirdLife International) have been considered Vulnerable according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M., J. del Hoyo, P. J. K. McGowan, N. Collar, D. A. Christie, and P. F. D. Boesman (2021). Crested Fireback (Lophura ignita), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.crefir1.02