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Types of Pheasants

Pheasant Types and Biological Facts

The term pheasant usually applies to large, colorful long-tailed members of the family Phasianidae. There are approximately 49 species and even more subspecies of pheasant. Pheasants originated in Asia and inhabit a wide variety of terrain from snowy mountains to steamy jungles. In North America they have been widely introduced to many areas for sport hunting. All but one species of pheasant are still found in Asia. Pheasants are similar in physiology to the chicken with stout bills. Most Pheasants have long, strong legs with four-toed clawed feet. The legs and bill are adapted to scratching in the ground for food. When a pheasant senses danger it prefers to use it's legs to run from the danger. Pheasants are able to fly swiftly, but cannot sustain flight for very long. Male Pheasants often have spurs which are used in battles for dominance. Most Pheasants are large birds with very long, pointed tails. Wings are short, rounded and curved. Males are generally larger than females and are usually more colorful.

This purpose of this section of gamebirdhunts.com is an introduction you to the pheasants commonly found in North America. The common species are shown below along with details about that species. Thank you to McFarlane Pheasants and their great website www.pheasant.com for their help with this section.

Common Pheasant Species In North America

Types Of Pheasants:
Hen Ringneck Pheasant Chinese Ring Neck Cock Pheasant Melanistic Mutant Pheasant Manchurian Ringneck Cross Pheasant

 

Chinese Ringneck Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Male Chinese Ringneck Pheasant

Cock (Male) Chinese Ring Neck Pheasant

Hen Chinese Ringneck Pheasant

Hen (Female) Chinese Ring Neck Pheasant

The Chinese Ring-Necked Pheasant

Weight: males 41-46 oz; females 31-34 oz

Length: 30"-36"

Flight speed: 38-48 mph

Habitat: grasslands, wetlands, and brushy areas interspersed with agriculture. Foods: waste grains and weed seeds

Life expectancy: 70% annual mortality rate; 2-3% of population lives to age 3

Mating: polygamous; one male breeds many females

Nesting period: peak April-June, range March-August

Nests: usually shallow, scratched-out depression in the ground lined with grass or leaves

Clutch size: 11 eggs for first nests

Eggs: olive-brown; ovate (17/8" x 13/8")
Incubation: 23 days

Young: precoccial; leave nest immediately; can make short flights at 12-14 days

Number broods per year: 1; will renest up to 4 times

Nest success: ave. 43%. Fledge: hen and brood separate 8-11 weeks post-hatch
Recruitment: ave. 3.7 young/hen

Migration: none; year-round resident

Data Above Provided by the Iowa DNR

The Chinese Ringneck is the most popular of breeds. This pheasant is used primarily for stocking and hunting. These hardy birds adapt readily to the wild and are prized by sportsmen for their excellent flying ability and brilliant colors. Prime habitat consists of 55-70 % crop fields such as corn, soybean, or small grains. The remainder of the habitat should include some wetlands, grassland, and woodland or brushy thickets.

Melanistic Mutant Pheasant

Melanistic Mutant Pheasant

This melanistic mutant is a pure breed. These large, beautiful pheasants feature an iridescent, greenish-black plumage. A favorite variety for release, they display a remarkable ability to survive and reproduce in the wild. Prime habitat consists of 55-70 % crop fields such as corn, soybean, or small grains. The remainder of the habitat should include some wetlands, grassland, and woodland or brushy thickets.

The Manchurian Cross Pheasant

The Manchurian Cross Pheasant

The Manchurian Cross™ Ringneck is the offspring of a male Pure Manchurian and a female Chinese Ringneck. The Pure Manchurians were imported as eggs directly from the fields of China. These birds have great naturally wild characteristics which are seen not only in their physical appearance, but in their performance as well. For those looking to propagate their land, the Manchurian Cross™ chicks and mature birds are a perfect fit. Prime habitat consists of 55-70 % crop fields such as corn, soybean, or small grains. The remainder of the habitat should include some wetlands, grassland, and woodland or brushy thickets. These birds have been known to roost in trees at night to avoid predation.

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