Ringneck Pheasant

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image: RingneckPheasant.jpg

Common Name: Ring-necked Pheasant
Scientific Name: Phasianus colchicus

Size: 20-28 inches (50-70 cm)

Habitat: Asia; introduced throughout North America. Found in flat agricultural areas.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 45,000,000 - 300,000,000 mature individuals. Populations are declining, probably because of changes in farming practices.

Diet: Seeds, especially cultivated grain, grasses, leaves, roots, wild fruits and insects by scratching on ground and digging with its’ bill for food.

Breeding: Pheasants practice "harem-defense polygyny" where one male keeps other males away from a small group of females during the breeding season. Nests are built on the ground, in tall grass or weeds. 7-15 olive brown eggs are laid. Chicks can leave the nest almost immediately and feed themselves. Chicks eat mostly insects during their first weeks of life.

Cool Facts: The Ring-necked Pheasant is one of the most popular “Game” birds and is hunted extensively. The bird was brought to Britain around the 10th century but became extinct in the early 17th century. It was then reintroduced in the 1830s and is now widespread. Continual reintroduction has made the pheasant a very variable species in regard to size and plumage. Pheasants were introduced to North America in the 18th century.

In bad weather, pheasants are known to stay in their roost for several days without eating, waiting out the storm.

Pheasants are short-distance fliers and prefer to run. If startled, they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed. Their flight speed is only 27 to 38 mph when cruising but when chased they can fly up to 60 mph.

Found in Songbird ReMix Gamebirds

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