About The Pheasant
Pheasant history & Facts - The pheasant, like many Americans, is an immigrant to North America. The first successful introduction of pheasants to this country occurred in 1881 when Judge Owen Nickerson Denny (US consul to China) shipped 30 Chinese ringnecks (26 survived the journey) to his home in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Eleven years later Oregon opened a 75-day season and hunters bagged 50,000 pheasants. They were subsequently released in 40 of the 50 states. The pheasant thrives in a farmland landscape with ample (20%+) undisturbed grassland habitat. Pheasant populations increased and reached all time highs in the mid-1900s before suffering severe population declines.
Appearance - Male ring-necks feature a white ring around their neck and body plumage of gold, brown, green, purple, and white. The roosters head has blues, greens, and a distinctive red wattle. Females are much less showy with drab brown feathers.
A brood of pheasant chicks in the spring. Be careful not to mow ditches around this time!
Weight: Male ring-necked pheasants average 2 to 3 pounds while their female (hen) counterparts average 2 pounds.
Length: Males measure 24 to 35 inches long with a rooster's tail often accounting for more than 20 inches of that length. Hens are smaller with a much shorter tail.
Flight Speed: 38-48 mph (but can reach up to 60 mph when chased)
Favorite Foods: corn, seeds, insects
Preferred Habitat: undisturbed grass
Average Nest Initiation: Early May
Average Incubation Start: Late May
Length of Incubation: 23 days
Average First Hatch: Mid June
Average Clutch Size: 12 eggs
Average Nest Success: 40-60%
Average Hen Success: 50-70%
Average Rate of Chick Survival: 50%
Major Nest Predators: fox, raccoon, skunk
Major Adult Predators: man, fox, hawk, owl
Survival Rate - mild winter, good habitat: 95%
Survival Rate - severe winter, good habitat: 50%
Survival Rate - mild winter, poor habitat: 80%
Survival Rate - severe winter, poor habitat: 20%