Looking at the picture of the bird makes you wonder what natural selection could have evolved such a gaudy specimen? Yet when you look at the bird or it's feathers on this page, you are seeing the feathers against a monotone background to make them stand out for display purposes. When you view these same feathers on the bird in their natural colors against a natural deep forest background the stripes and bars break up the form of the bird like stripes on a tiger. This train of thought gets even more interesting when you consider that Amherst's Pheasants, Golden Pheasants and tigers co-exist in the same natural environment.
Amherst's tail fibers marry well together and sections from these feathers is sometimes used for strip wings on steelhead and salmon flies. The most common use for Amherst is as hackling material for large Intruder style winter steelhead flies such as the Hoh Bo Spey and Jumbo Critter. The fibers are removed from the feather and spun in a loop of wire. the twisted wire serves as the stem of a hackle which is spun onto a hook. The fibers are then separated so that they will have more movement when wet.