RING NECKED PHEASANT – (Phasianus colchicus)
The Ring necked, or Common, pheasant is originating from Asia, but is now widespread around the world, as it was introduced as a game bird. This is how it was introduced to PEI as well, and it is now breeding successfully on the island.
The ring necked pheasant belongs to the same order as the chicken, the turkey, and the grouse. The word ‘colchicus’ comes from the name of the Asian country where this bird became known in Europe.
The male ring necked pheasant is about 85 cm (33 in.) long including the tail, which is around 50 cm (20 in.) long. The female is shorter at around 60 cm (25 in.) in total length. The male displays several colors – iridescent dark green head and neck, red face, white neck ‘ring’ or band, gold body with black feather tips, and a black tail. Females blend in with the areas where they live and breed – beige tones with dark brown feather tips on the body. The male emits a loud croak.
As with other birds in that order, male ring necked pheasants breed with several females and chase away
other males from their ‘harem’. The bird’s diet is diversified – insects and grains. They roost in trees. This bird has the capacity to stay ‘dormant’ for a few days during very cold spells in the winter.