The Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) is a large game bird. It is also called the Ring-Necked Pheasant.
The Common Pheasant can be various colours, from white to black. It is generally gold or coppery-red and chestnut-brown with an iridescent sheen of green and purple. It has a white neck ring. It has a long, black tail, flecked with brown feathers. Its wings are white or cream with black bars. Its head is dark-green with a small crest and a distinctive red wattle. The female is dull brown.
It measures 60-89 centimetres (24-35 inches) in length. Its tail measures almost 50 centimetres (20 inches) long.
The Common Pheasant is found in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. It prefers woodlands, farmlands, scrublands, and wetlands.
It can fly for short distances, but it prefers to run when it is startled.
The Common Pheasant looks for food on the ground. It eats fruit, seeds, grain, berries, leaves, insects, lizards, and small birds.
It lives in flocks. The female, called a hen, makes a grass nest under a hedge. She lays 8-15 eggs, which hatch after 22-27 days.
The chicks leave the nest when they are only a few hours old, but they stay near their mother for several weeks. After hatching the chicks grow quickly, and can fly after 12–14 days.
[Location of photographs: Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Salisbury, England]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM