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Glossary of Pheasant Hunting Terms


Birddy-  When a dog is close to a pheasant the dog's body language will change.  The dog's tail and whole rear end will often shake back and forth and the dog will make erratic turns.  This dog language is referred to by pheasant hunters as "birddy"

Brood- A brood is a group of pheasants from the same hen and nest.  A brood will typically stay together from hatch until the birds reach full size.  Pheasants reach full size and leave the brood in about 2-3 months (late summer).

Crop- A pouch at the base of the pheasants neck that allows them to gather food and take it back to heavier cover to digest it.

Dirty Field-  A dirty field refers to a crop field that contains weeds or grass cover in addition to the agricultural crop.  Pheasants prefer dirty fields to clean fields as the dirty fields provide cover right in the food source.

Gizzard- The gizzard is an organ in the digestive system of a pheasant that consists of a strong muscle that contracts and uses rocks and other hard objects swallowed by the bird to grind up food.

Herbst's Corpuscles- Pads on the feet of pheasants that are pressure sensitive and help pheasants feel ground vibrations.

Nictitating Membrane- The extra eyelid on a pheasant used to keep the eye moist and deflect wind during flight.

Spurs- Male pheasants or roosters have a sharp point on the back of their legs called a spur. These spurs are used to fight other roosters during mating season. Spurs are used to age wild pheasants. The shorter and more blunt the spur the younger the bird. Mature birds spurs can be up to 1/2 long.

Pheasant Wattle- A wattle is the red skin and ear tufts on a rooster. The primary purpose of a wattle is to attract a hen during mating season.

Stocking Pheasants-
Stocking is the release of pen-reared pheasants into the wild to boost populations where wild birds are already present