Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus

Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Introduced from Asia only a little more than a century ago, the Ring-necked Pheasant is now so well established in North America that it is the state bird of South Dakota. This species runs as often as it flies, and is comfortable in a wide variety of habitats, as long as there is suitable brushy cover. A male may mate with as many as four hens, each of which establishes a nest within the male's territory or crowing area.

Identification Male 30-36"; female 20-26". Chickenlike, with long, pointed tail. Male has bright green or blue-green head, red face, white neck-ring; body and wings iridescent bronze, gold, and red, with bold, dark spotting. Female soft brown, spotted and barred with black.

Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus Voice A loud, crowing cuck-cuck or caiv-caiv, accompanied by loud wingbeats. Male cackles when taking off.

Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus Habitat Grassy and brushy areas near woodlands; farms, pastures; also in cattail marshes in winter.

Range Much of United States and S. Canada in suitable farm regions; absent from high mountains and deserts.

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