Pheasant Facts

Pheasants, who live in grasslands and wetlands, are colorful and beautiful long-tailed birds native to Asia, but various species are now found worldwide and have become one of the most hunted birds due to their health, vigor, and flying skills.

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Pheasants Facts for Kids

  • Live longer in captivity(18 years) than in the wild(1-3 years).
  • Their habitats include pastures and wetlands.
  • Common pheasants prefer running to flying.
  • They are omnivores
  • The chicks can fly two weeks after birth
  • Males are polygamous (mate with many females)
  • There are fifty species of pheasants.
  • Many are raised to be hunted in shooting preserves.

Let’s Learn About Their Everyday Life 

The pheasant is strongly related to other wild birds like quail, chickens, and even partridges. Thirty-five of their species come from Asia. 

On three continents, including North America, these birds are widely spread in woodlands, farmlands, wetlands, and pasture land.

They are common game birds that in different parts of the globe are prepared as cuisine. People destroy their habitats, which negatively impacts the population of wild pheasants. 

Even though the number of pheasants in the wild is decreasing, they are still not seen as endangered.

Useful Information About Pheasants:

Pheasants can grow as long as 36 inches and weigh up to four pounds. The males are way bigger than females, and they are not similar in appearance even though as chicks, they are both brown until the male starts to get its color at 10-weeks old.

This spectacle is called sexual dimorphism, with feathers that are golden, brown, gray, and purple, and more adorn the male while the females have brown feathers draping them. 

A pheasant’s legs are pretty long and quite powerful, allowing them to run super-fast even though it has only four toes on each leg. The nails are mighty sharp too.

Pheasants can hear and see very well, which helps them know when someone or another animal is getting too close.

Pheasants can do so many things like swim and even dive, run about 10 miles an hour, and fly 45 miles an hour.

Pheasants are real survivors eating both plants and animals, from seeds and grains to insects and small reptiles. Their claws come in handy during the winter when they dig through the snow to get food.  

Instead of migrating, pheasants stay in their nests during winter, going without food sometimes for a few days, and many of them die, especially when food gets scarce.

They breathe quite fast in summer times to cool themselves down as they do not sweat like humans and some other animals. Pheasants are friendly birds who stay in groups when it’s not breading time.

During breeding time, the male (rooster) creates a group of up to seven females (hens) to make eggs. The hens will lay anywhere from one dozen to twenty eggs after three weeks, then take care of the chicks until they’ve learned how to fly in about two weeks. 

There are multiple broods per annum for females who also foster unwanted or lost chicks occasionally.

The Pheasant’s rate of survival is really short. Before they reach 6 to 10 weeks of age, nearly forty percent of young birds die. Less than a handful of the species actually survive until they are three years old unless they are captured. 

Types of Pheasants

Even though there are fifty types of pheasants, not all of them are found everywhere. Here are seven of the most common types of pheasants:

Golden Pheasant

The golden pheasant is a magnificent creature. This bird is also known as the Chinese pheasant. They are resident in the highland forest areas of China.

They love forested areas, woodlands, and sparse foliage. This bird primarily feeds on wheat, crustaceans, earthworms, fruit, seedlings, and other plant life.

Some people become interested in the pheasant because of its brilliant plumage. Male and female pheasants look so different. Males can all be readily identified by their magnificent coloring. 

They have golden crests with red tips on their heads, down their necks. The inside of their neck and cheek is rust-brown. They have a red underbelly, dark-colored wings, and a long pointed tail.

The females are less striking. Their beak, throat, breast, and sides are pale brown. They are slimmer than males in appearance.

Ring-necked Pheasant

The ring necked pheasant is prevalent in Asia but has been officially declared in North America, Asia, and Europe as a game bird. 

The male is bright, colorful with a blue-green head, red face wattles, and white neck rings. Females are somewhat simple buff-brown. Some species have lengthy and pointed tails.

It prefers open fields and farmlands with cover. And also occur in woodland, undergrowth, and wetlands. They like to be on the ground, eating small animals and insects.

Reeves Pheasant

Reeves’s pheasant is quite big and endemic to the eastern forests of China. The birds are named after John Reeves, who presented live samples to Europe in 1831. They have been introduced to the UK, the USA, and also to France.

Reeves pheasant is Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Habitat loss, overhunting, and tail plumes are why this animal became endangered. Currently, we believe there are fewer than 2000 wild ospreys.

The large golden-scaled pheasant has grey legs, brown iris, and red skin across the eye. Its head is white with a black stripe extending from the eyes. The male has an amazingly long silvery whitetail that is marked with chestnut brown. 

The female bird is generally plain, has primarily brown plumage. These impressive pheasants are honored for having the longest tail feathers in the Guinness Book of Records.

Silver Pheasant

Silver pheasant is popular in forests, and mountains, on the Mainland of Southeast Asia and Eastern and southern China.

The male silver pheasant is white with black barring. They have red wattles, black crests, and yellowish-grey beaks. The Female has reddish-brown feathers with some reddish-grey barring. 

They are a dark-greyish-brown color. Red wattles, brown crest, and yellowish-ivory beak. Both monkeys have red faces and red legs.

Silver pheasants have an extensive feeding range that includes insects and worms. And they also tend to prefer high-altitude forests.

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant

Lady Amherst originated in southwestern China and far northern Myanmar. This bird is named after Sarah Countess Amherst, wife of the Governor of Bengal, who was responsible for transferring the first batch of the creature to London in the early 1800s.

With an exceptionally long black and white tail, a greenish back, a red and yellow rump, and a black-and-white neck ruff, the male is very colorful. The females are, meanwhile, drab for camouflage. 

The female, with a duller, mottled brown plumage all over, is much less showy. They are comparable to the female golden pheasant, but the female of that species has a darker head and cleaner underparts.

Moreover, in its natural environment, such as dense, dark woods with thick undergrowth, this bird is tough to see. Lady Amherst’s pheasant is assessed on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species as the Least Concern.

Mikado Pheasant

The pheasant is a flightless bird in the family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes. A thousand dollar bill in Taiwan depicts a couple of Mikado pheasants and Yushan National Park, one of the regions it is known to occupy.

The male specimen measures up to 70 cm in length, while the female specimen measures up to 47 cm. The male is blue with violet iridescence, with white stripes on its wings and tail. 

The female has brown and white speckled quills. The Taiwanese aborigines use male tail feathers for a head-dress decoration. 

The type specimen of the pheasant consists of two-tail feathers acquired in 1906 from the head-dress of one of his servants. Emperor A’s Palace was named in honor of the Emperor of Japan.

When the pheasants come out, they are often found in the open in light rain or after heavy rain. They tend to be solitary or together, alert yet quiet. 

They are usually tolerated in the presence of humans and are generally seen in proximity to them. They will calmly seek out shelter among surrounding plants rather than fluttering away in panic. 

When endangered, they will glide down a mountainside. The males have a range of up to four hundred meters in radius as it likes to stay in the same area. Both genders make soft noises when feeding.

Green Pheasant

Pheasants, Phasianus Versicolor, are all over Japan and are now in the Hawaiian Islands, Europe, and the US.

These game pheasants are restless and usually remain wild in captivity. They jump at the slightest sound, hide, or seek refuge in thick vegetation or shrubs.

This species is widely distributed in its native range. It lives in farmlands and cities. Hawaii’s introduced populations are stable.

The Europeans have bred green pheasants for a number of years, and there is no longer a pure green pheasant. The bird is a hybrid between the common pheasant and a North American game bird.

The Green Pheasant is the national bird of Japan.

Pheasants are sensitive to tremors, especially those not felt by humans. They call in concert to warn of approaching seismic events.

Subspecies And Hybrids:

The Green Pheasant is often categorized as a subspecies of the popular pheasant, mainly because it closely resembles melanistic varieties of the common pheasant. Some believe that both species are closely related.

The southern green pheasant or kiji, the darkest of all sub-species. The bird is metallic green.

Pacific Green is softer than the Southern Green, with far more blue and purple in the total plumage.

Northern Green Pheasant is lighter than the other two. The crown and the mantle have more bronze.

What are some distinguishing features of pheasants?

The male pheasants are brightly coated with blue and green heads, red wattles on their face, and unique white rings around their necks. 

The females are a relatively ordinary brown color, but both have long, sharpened tails like the male. These gorgeous birds are smart in the wild.

What do you call a bunch of pheasants?

The family group is called a ‘brood,’ but a general bunch of pheasants is known as a flock or bouquet.

To What family do pheasants belong?

Pheasants belong to the Phasianidae family, including other heavy-weight birds who live on land like chickens, turkeys, and quails. 

What is the lifespan of a pheasant?

Pheasants can live for 7 to 10 years, on average. However, it can be far less in the wild and twice as long when they are in captivity. 

What is a female pheasant called?

Just like a female chicken, the female pheasant is called a hen.

What are some predators of pheasants?

Some common predators of pheasants are humans, coyotes, dogs, foxes, owls, and hawks. Raccoon and skunk go after their eggs.

How far can pheasants fly?

Pheasants can fly 600 hundred feet at 30+ miles per hour, but when chased, their speed almost doubles.