Ring-necked Pheasant – Phasianus colchicus
Kingdom – Animals – Animalia
Phylum – Vertebrates – Craniata
Class – Birds – Aves
Order – Upland Game Birds – Galliformes
Family – Upland Game Birds – Phasianidae
Species – Ring-necked Pheasant – Phasianus colchicus
Ring-necked Pheasant Description
Ring-necked Pheasants were introduced here in North America during the 1800’s. They originated from Asia. As a non-native species to North America, the Ring-necked pheasant has successfully become a widespread inhabitant that can tolerant a vast range of climates. During the cold winters in Northern America and Canada, pheasant often separate into groups of opposite sex. Ring-necked pheasants come in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns. The adult male pheasant has a long gorgeous tail. The body feathers are iridescent and multi-colored. An adult female is similar in look to the male pheasant on their colors are often more dull or mottled and the females are generally smaller in size. Adult male pheasants average 32 inches in length and 2.5-3 pounds in weight. Adult female pheasants average 23 inches in length and about 2 pounds weight. The male usually is the most vocal with his loud, raspy, rooster-like caw-caak or ca-ca.
Ring-necked Pheasant Characteristics
It is hard to mistaken a pheasant for other upland birds. The bright coloring and patterned feathers of the Ring-necked Pheasant make it distinct among wild game birds in Montana and the United States. Males pheasants have a green head and white collar with bronze and golden body feathers. Females are a mottled brown overall with lighter body feathers.
General Distribution of Ring-necked Pheasant in the Montana Range
Here is a map that shows the habitation range for Ring-necked Pheasant in Montana and in North America.
Open grasslands are the most common habitat. Other habitat includes river beds, cropland areas, residential area, and pretty much anywhere that has a field. Pheasant like areas with brush where they find cover from the elements and protection from predators. The best pheasant habitat for hunting consists of grain crops and undisturbed brush and trees.
Pheasant Food Habits
Agricultural lands are very common for pheasant. Pheasant need a good source of grain to survive. Wheat and barley are the primary food source for pheasant in Montana. Pheasants process the grains by using their gizzards. Pheasants spend considerable time ingesting small pebbles which assist the gizzard in its job of breaking down the grains.
Population density for male pheasant in central Montana is estimated to be about 14 pheasant to every square mile of land. The ratio of male to female pheasant was 1 male pheasant for every .7 females. These statistics are really gross estimates though. Pheasant naturally hold to their cover and can be difficult to find when they don’t want to be discovered.
Reproductive Characteristics of the Ring-necked Pheasant
June through August is when most pheasant eggs hatch. A pheasant will usually have up to 10 eggs with a 60% success rate.