The Siamese fireback is thought to be omnivorous, feeding on an array of fallen fruits and berries, as well as insects, worms and small land-crabs (4). Little information is available on the breeding behaviour of this shy bird in the wild, other than that eggs have been collected between mid-April and late June, and that one nest was situated on the ground in a hollow at the base of a tree. Clutches seem to contain between four and eight eggs, and are incubated for 24 to 25 days in captivity (4). Males attain adult plumage in their first year but do not typically breed until their third (3). Like other Lophura pheasants, males of this species perform courtship displays in which they whistle and whirr their wings (2).
The striking male Siamese fireback is most notable for its unusually long crest of purple-black feathers, which reaches up to 9 cm in length and becomes erect when the bird is excited (2) (3). The breast, neck and upper back are mostly grey with very fine vermiculations, and the belly and head are black with the head decorated with large scarlet-red facial wattles (2) (3). The name 'fireback' refers to the yellow plumage in the middle of the back, a feature shared with other firebacks (3). However, this species can be distinguished by its characteristic pattern of metallic blue with coppery-crimson fringes on the lower back, together with its red legs and long, curved tail, which is black with a metallic blue-green sheen (3) (4). The female is also quite distinct from other Lophura hens, most noticeably in having black upper wing and central tail feathers, boldly barred with buffy-white (4). The plumage is otherwise mostly bright chestnut-red and the head is greyish-brown with smaller red facial wattles than the male and no visible crest (2) (3).
Lophura diardi is found in Thailand (uncommon to locally common resident, principally in the north-east and south-east, c.5,000 individuals estimated), Laos (widespread and locally abundant, but heavily snared), Cambodia (locally common and widespread) and Vietnam (locally common and widespread in central and southern regions). Its total population size has not been recently estimated, although the population in Cambodia may be conservatively estimated at c.2,000 individuals (F. Goes in litt. 2011). The species is suspected to be undergoing a slow to moderate decline owing to continued habitat loss and hunting pressure.
Lowlands of e Myanmar, Thailand and Indochina.
Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
Found in Southeast Asia, from east Myanmar, through north, central and east Thailand, central and south Laos, north and central Cambodia to central Vietnam (4).