Wildlife Identification Guide

Upland Game Birds

Ring-necked Pheasant
Phasianus colchicus


Ring-necked pheasant measure from 30" to 36" and have a long pointed tail. Males have a red patch around their eye, dark green heads, and a white ring around the neck. The body is patterned in an iridescent yellowish brown. The female has blotches sandy brown in color and has a shorter tail.


Ring-necked pheasant make a loud "caw-cawk" sound followed by a resonant flapping of the wings. When alarmed these birds fly off while producing a loud cackle.


Ring-necked pheasant inhabit fertile cropland, cultivated grain fields, and grassy woodland edges.


Adults feed primarily upon waste grains, weed seeds, soft mast, and insects which are located by scratching.


Ring-necked pheasant will lay anywhere from 6 to 15 olive-colored eggs. The nest is built in a grass-lined depression that's well concealed in grass or weeds.


Ring-necked pheasant - native to Asia - were introduced to and range from British Columbia, Alberta, Minnesota, Ontario, and the Maritime Provinces south to California, Oklahoma, and Maryland.

Additional Information

  • Ring-necked pheasant were successfully introduced in North American in 1881 in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. They were imported from their native range in Asia and China.
  • Pheasant usually need only a minimum of cover.

  • Pheasant are polygamous. One male will support a harem of up to 12 hens.
  • Nesting often occurs just outside cities.
  • Pheasant live very well in most grassland habitats, but thrive in the central plains of North American.

Credits: eNature.com


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