Common Pheasant

Galliformes

Phasianidae

GENUS & SPECIES

Phasianus colchicus

Galliformes

Phasianidae

GENUS & SPECIES

Phasianus colchicus

key features where in the world?

key features

This ground-dwelling bird rarely ranges more than 6 miles from its breeding ground

Flies low and fast, skimming over thickets and brush, but only for short distances

Males have a bright red inflatable pouch, called a wattle, that is extended during breeding where in the world?

Southeast Europe and central Asia to China, Korea and Japan; introduced to western Europe, North America and New Zealand

Though a fast flier over short distances, the common pheasant spends most of its life on the ground, foraging in undergrowth, taking dust baths and building its nest amid shrubs.

habitat

The common pheasant is most often found in open, lightly wooded areas, parks and farmlands of Asia, Europe and North America. But it also populates desert oases of the western U.S. as well as the cool mountain forests of China, where it lives at altitudes of up to I 3,000'. It prefers to nest under protective cover and thrives along river and lake banks, hiding in reed beds or riverside thickets of tamarisks, poplars, wild olives and other trees and shrubs. Rice fields provide cover and ready food in China, Korea and Japan.

Y Open house The pheasant mostly lives out in the open.

Y Open house The pheasant mostly lives out in the open.

Pheasant Breeding

Common-pheasant breeding is based on dominance. The dominant male will attract a harem of several females, then woo them with a complex courtship ritual of movement and sound. Standing tall and straight, the male struts around the female in semicircles, feathers fluffed and wattle inflated. To attract the attention of a female, he will hiss, flutter his tail feathers and crouch low to the ground with his tail held high, while making a soft, guttural cooing sound. After mating, the female lays I -2 eggs a day until she has a full clutch of around 10. After a 3-4 week incubation, the chicks are born virtually ready to start feeding themselves. The male takes no responsibility for the young birds, leaving their care entirely to the female. At 12 days the young make their first flights, and at 10 ^ Early flight weeks the brood leaves its The chick is able to fly at mother as young as 12 days old.

Dogs Boys Fixed
A. First born Pheasant eggs hatch at different intervals.

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typical white ring

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around its neck.

food & feeding

The common pheasant is an omnivore, feeding on what is most readily available in each season and habitat. Farmlands provide an abundance of energy-rich grains and fruits, while wooded areas offer berries, roots, insects, worms and slugs.Young pheasants (up to 4 months old) eat more animal matter than adults to obtain the protein necessary for growth.The common pheasant spends most of its time on the ground scratching for food. It makes use of both its bill and its feet for digging, but in spring, it alights in high tree branches to feast on tasty buds and flowers. During winter; pheasants may feed together in large flocks.

versatile forager

A male pheasant uses his bill like a shovel, throwing soil aside as he forages for food such as seeds, berries, worms and insects.

Q Peck.

The common pheasant's sharp bill also allows it to unearth items buried in the ground, including roots and tubers.

Q Jump.

A powerful jumper, the pheasant flutters its wings and easily reaches berries in the highest branches of a blackberry bush.

Q Perch

When food is scarce on the ground during the spring, the pheasant flies up to a lofty limb for a hearty meal of leaf buds.

A male pheasant uses his bill like a shovel, throwing soil aside as he forages for food such as seeds, berries, worms and insects.

Q Peck.

The common pheasant's sharp bill also allows it to unearth items buried in the ground, including roots and tubers.

Q Jump.

A powerful jumper, the pheasant flutters its wings and easily reaches berries in the highest branches of a blackberry bush.

Q Perch

When food is scarce on the ground during the spring, the pheasant flies up to a lofty limb for a hearty meal of leaf buds.

behavior

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Active both night and day, the common pheasant begins calling well before sunrise. The birds often leave their roosting sites at that time to forage for 2-3 hours, then move to a nearby source of water for a short time. Pheasants like to spend the warmest part of the day relaxing in the shade, preening, dustbathing and sleeping. The birds then continue their search for food until dusk, when they settle for the night.They roost most often in dense ground cover, but they may also adopt nests abandoned by squirrels or other birds. Roosting groups in the cold winter months may vary from 2-24 birds.

A. Bath time The pheasant regularly takes dust baths to remove oil from its feathers.

conservation

The common pheasant is a hardy and adaptable species. Clearing forests for farmland in the U.S. earlier this century reduced pheasant populations, but through the efforts of organizations such as the Conservation Reserve Program, it now thrives in many midwestern states. It continues to flourish in its native Asian environment, as well as in the other diverse geographical areas where it has been introduced.

Tail

Both sexes have long, streaming tail feathers that taper to a point. The male's tail is much longer than the female's, but both have chestnut bands.

OFILE Common Pheasant

The common pheasant is a speedy runner and, over short distances, a powerful, low-altitude flier.

Female plumage. Black and chestnut bands adorn the long tails of both males and females.

Male

The larger male typically has a metallic blue or green head and copper-colored body feathers highlighted with dark breast markings and a white ring around the neck.

Male

The larger male typically has a metallic blue or green head and copper-colored body feathers highlighted with dark breast markings and a white ring around the neck.

Tail

Both sexes have long, streaming tail feathers that taper to a point. The male's tail is much longer than the female's, but both have chestnut bands.

The pheasant's short, downward-curving bill helps it pluck berries from branches and crack seeds it scavenges from the ground.

Feet

The two long front toes are opposed by a single rear toe and heel spur. This arrangement provides excellent balance for running and allows the bird to scratch for seeds and insects in the undergrowth.

The pheasant's short, downward-curving bill helps it pluck berries from branches and crack seeds it scavenges from the ground.

creature comparisons

The green pheasant (Phasianus versicolor) is slightly smaller than the common pheasant, but otherwise is remarkably similar to its close relative. However; female green pheasants have darker mantle feathers than the the female common pheasant, and green wingtips. While the common pheasant, as its name implies, ranges over broad ranges in Asia, Europe and North America, the green pheasant is confined to Japan and the Hawaiian islands.

Common pheasant

Related species t • The common pheasant [ is one of two species in ; the genus Phasianus; the other member, the green I pheasant (P. versicolor), is often considered a [ subspecies. Other relatives : include the reeves pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesi) and the copper pheasant (S. soemmeringi). The family Phasianidae I includes about 174 species of pheasant, francolin, peafowl, partridge and quail.

vital statistics

[Weight 1.5-3 lbs.

■ Length

Male 20-36"; female 20-26"

' Wingspan

About 32"

[ Sexual [ Maturity

1 year

[ Breeding ' Season

Varies, but majority from March-June

Number [ of Eggs

8-15

F Incubation [. Period

23-28 days

' Fledging Period

70-80 days

Birth f Interval

1 year

, Typical > Diet

Seeds, berries, shoots and invertebrates

Lifespan

Average 10-20 months

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Responses

  • Tuulikki
    When is breeding season for pheasants?
    1 year ago
  • Dehab
    Do pheasants live permanently together or only during the breeding season?
    12 months ago
  • Abramo Greco
    When is the mating season for phesants?
    7 months ago
  • Marko Rothschild
    Do pheasants change colour when mating season?
    3 months ago

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