Wildlife Identification Guide

Upland Game Birds

Ring-necked Pheasant
Phasianus colchicus

Description

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.

Voice

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.

Habitat

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

Food

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

Nesting

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.

Range

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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