Common pheasant

The common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) is a bird in the pheasant family (Phasianidae). The genus name comes from Latin phasianus, "pheasant". The species name colchicus is Latin for "of Colchis" (modern day Georgia), a country on the Black Sea where pheasants became known to Europeans.[2]

It is native to Asia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe, where it is naturalised, it is simply known as the "pheasant". Ring-necked pheasant is both the name used for the species as a whole in North America and also the collective name for a number of subspecies and their intergrades that have white neck rings.

It is a well-known gamebird, among those of more than regional importance perhaps the most widespread and ancient one in the whole world. The common pheasant is one of the world's most hunted birds;[3] it has been introduced for that purpose to many regions, and is also common on game farms where it is commercially bred. Ring-necked pheasants in particular are commonly bred and were introduced to many parts of the world; the game farm stock, though no distinct breeds have been developed yet, can be considered semi-domesticated. The ring-necked pheasant is the state bird of South Dakota, one of only three U.S. state birds that is not a species native to the United States.

The green pheasant (P. versicolor) of Japan is sometimes considered a subspecies of the common pheasant. Though the species produce fertile hybrids wherever they coexist, this is simply a typical feature among fowl (Galloanseres), in which postzygotic isolating mechanisms are slight compared to most other birds. The species apparently have somewhat different ecological requirements and at least in its typical habitat, the green pheasant outcompetes the common pheasant. The introduction of the latter to Japan has therefore largely failed.

Common pheasant
Phasianus colchicus 2 tom (Lukasz Lukasik)
Male ("cock") of hybrid stock in Poland
Note thin white neck-band due to a ring-necked subspecies' contribution to hybrid gene pool
Phasianus colchicus -Rutland Water -female-8
Female ("hen") in England
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Phasianus
Species:
P. colchicus
Binomial name
Phasianus colchicus
Phasianus colchicus map

Description

Phasianus colchicus 4 hen (Lukasz Lukasik)
Flavistic hen
Phasianus colchicus MHNT
Phasianus colchicus egg at MHNT
Phasianus colchicus MHNT Skeleton
Skeleton MHNT

There are many colour forms of the male common pheasant, ranging in colour from nearly white to almost black in some melanistic examples. These are due to captive breeding and hybridization between subspecies and with the green pheasant, reinforced by continual releases of stock from varying sources to the wild. For example, the "ring-necked pheasants" common in Europe, North America and Australia do not pertain to any specific taxon, they rather represent a stereotyped hybrid swarm.[4] Body weight can range from 0.5 to 3 kg (1.1 to 6.6 lb), with males averaging 1.2 kg (2.6 lb) and females averaging 0.9 kg (2.0 lb).[5]

The adult male common pheasant of the nominate subspecies Phasianus colchicus colchicus is 60–89 cm (24–35 in) in length with a long brown streaked black tail, accounting for almost 50 cm (20 in) of the total length. The body plumage is barred bright gold or fiery copper-red and chestnut-brown plumage with iridescent sheen of green and purple; but rump uniform is sometimes blue. The wing coverage is white or cream and black-barred markings are common on the tail.[6] The head is bottle green with a small crest and distinctive red wattle. P. c. colchicus and some other races lack a white neck ring.[7] Behind the face are two ear-tufts, that make the pheasant more alert.[8]

The female (hen) and juveniles are much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over and measuring 50–63 cm (20–25 in) long including a tail of around 20 cm (7.9 in). Juvenile birds have the appearance of the female with a shorter tail until young males begin to grow characteristic bright feathers on the breast, head and back at about 10 weeks after hatching.[6]

The green pheasant (P. versicolor) is very similar, and hybridization often makes the identity of individual birds difficult to determine. Green pheasant males on average have a shorter tail than the common pheasant and have darker plumage that is uniformly bottle-green on the breast and belly; they always lack a neck ring. Green pheasant females are darker, with many black dots on the breast and belly.

In addition, various color mutations are commonly encountered, mainly melanistic (black) and flavistic (isabelline or fawn) specimens. The former are rather common in some areas and are named Tenebrosus pheasant (P. colchicus var. tenebrosus).

Taxonomy and systematics

Common Pheasant (Hybride)
Hybrid male in Europe, intermediate between Mongolian ringneck and Caucasus group phenotype

This species was first scientifically described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name. The common pheasant is distinct enough from any other species known to Linnaeus for a laconic [Phasianus] rufus, capîte caeruleo – "a red pheasant with blue head" – to serve as entirely sufficient description. Moreover, the bird had been extensively discussed before Linnaeus established binomial nomenclature. His sources are the Ornithologia of Ulisse Aldrovandi,[9] Giovanni Pietro Olina's Uccelliera,[10] John Ray's Synopsis methodica Avium & Piscium,[11] and A natural history of the birds by Eleazar Albin.[12] Therein—essentially the bulk of the ornithology textbooks of his day—the species is simply named "the pheasant" in the books' respective languages. Whereas in other species, such as the eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna), Linnaeus felt it warranted to cite plumage details from his sources, in the common pheasant's case he simply referred to the reason of the bird's fame: principum mensis dicatur. The type locality is given simply as "Africa, Asia".[13]

However, the bird does not occur in Africa, except perhaps in Linnaeus' time in Mediterranean coastal areas where they might have been introduced during the Roman Empire. The type locality was later fixed to the Rioni River in Western Georgia – known as Phasis to the Ancient Greeks – where the westernmost population occurs. These birds, until the modern era, constituted the bulk of the introduced stock in Europe; the birds described by Linnaeus' sources, though typically belonging to such early introductions, would certainly have more alleles in common with the transcaucasian population than with others. The scientific name is Latin for "pheasant from Colchis", colchicus referring to the west of modern-day Georgia;[14] the Ancient Greek term corresponding to the English "pheasant" is Phasianos ornis (Φασιανὸς ὂρνις), "bird of the river Phasis".[15] Although Linnaeus included many Galliformes in his genus Phasianius—such as the domestic chicken and its wild ancestor the red junglefowl, nowadays Gallus gallus—today only the common and the green pheasant are placed in this genus. As the latter was not known to Linnaeus in 1758, the common pheasant is naturally the type species of Phasianus.

In the US, common pheasants are widely known as "ring-necked pheasants". More colloquial North American names include "chinks" or, in Montana, "phezzens".[16] In China, meanwhile, the species is properly called zhi ji (雉鸡)—"pheasant-fowl"—essentially implying the same as the English name "common pheasant". Like elsewhere, P. colchicus is such a familiar bird in China that it is usually just referred to as shan ji (山雞), "mountain chicken",[17] a Chinese term for pheasants in general.

As of 2005, it had the smallest known genome of all living amniotes, only 0.97 pg (970 million base pairs), roughly one-third of the human genome's size; however, the black-chinned hummingbird is now currently held to have the smallest.[18]

Subspecies

Male and female pheasant
Chinese ringneck-type male (note grey rump) with very pale female, illustrating the dramatic difference in both color and size between sexes as per sexual dimorphism

There are about 30 subspecies in five (sometimes six) groups.[19] These can be identified according to the male plumage, namely presence or absence of a white neck-ring and the color of the uppertail (rump) and wing coverts. As noted above, introduced population in our time mix the alleles of various races in various amounts, differing according to the original stock used for introductions and what natural selection according to climate and habitat has made of that.

An investigation into the genetic relationships of subspecies revealed that the earliest subspecies is likely to have been elegans, suggesting that the Common Pheasant originated from the forests of southeastern China. Initial divergence is thought to have occurred around 3.4 Mya. The lack of agreement between morphology-based subspecies delimitation and their genetic relationships is thought to be attributed to past isolation followed by more recent population mixing as the pheasant has expanded its range across the western Palaearctic.[20]

Sometimes this species is split into the Central Asian common and the East Asian ring-necked pheasants, roughly separated by the arid and high mountainous regions of Turkestan. However, while the western and eastern populations probably were entirely separate during the Zyryanka glaciation when deserts were more extensive,[21] this separation was not long enough for actual speciation to occur. Today, the largest variety of color patterns is found where the western and eastern populations mix, as is to be expected. Females usually cannot be identified even to subspecies group with certainty.

The subspecies groups, going from west to east, and some notable subspecies are:

Subspecies Range Description Image
P. c. colchicus group
(Caucasus pheasants)
Caucasus to W Turkestan No neck ring. Wing coverts buff to brown, uppertail coverts rusty to chestnut A monograph of the pheasants (10052517376)
P. c. chrysomelas/principalis group
(White-winged pheasants)
Central Turkestan No or vestigial neck ring. Wing coverts white, uppertail coverts and general plumage hue bronze to brown
P. c. mongolicus group
(Mongolian ring-necked pheasants)
NE Turkestan and adjacent Mongolia Broad neck ring. Wing coverts white, uppertail coverts hue rusty to chestnut, general plumage hue copper A monograph of the pheasants (10052488785)
P. c. tarimensis group
(Tarim pheasants)
SE Turkestan around the Tarim Basin No or vestigial neck ring. Wing coverts buff to brown, uppertail coverts dark khaki to light olive Tarim Pheasant by H. Jones
P. c. torquatus group
(Chinese ring-necked pheasants)
Throughout China but widespread in the east, extending to northernmost Vietnam and Taiwan in the south and to the Strait of Tartary region in the north. Most pheasants in North America are of this group. Usually broad neck ring. Wing coverts tan to light grey (almost white in some), uppertail coverts grey to powder blue with orange tips. Top of head light grey Formosan Ring-necked Pheasant by H. Jones
P. c. karpowi
(Korean ring-necked pheasant)
Central and southern Korean Peninsula and Jeju island in S.Korea Phasianus colchicus karpowi male
P. c. pallasi
(Manchurian ring-necked pheasant)
Northern part (alpine region) of Korean peninsula to northeastern China (Manchu) A monograph of the pheasants (10052458474)

Ecology

NewPheasant
Just hatched, in an egg incubator

Common pheasants are native to Asia, their original range extending from between the Black and Caspian Seas to Manchuria, Siberia, Korea, Mainland China, and Taiwan. The birds are found in woodland, farmland, scrub, and wetlands. In its natural habitat the common pheasant lives in grassland near water with small copses of trees.[19] Extensively cleared farmland is marginal habitat that cannot maintain self-sustaining populations for long[22][23]

Common pheasants are gregarious birds and outside the breeding season form loose flocks. Wherever they are hunted they are always timid once they associate humans with danger, and will quickly retreat for safety after hearing the arrival of hunting parties in the area.

PheasantChicks
Chicks about one hour after hatching

While common pheasants are able short-distance fliers, they prefer to run. If startled however, they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed, with a distinctive "whirring" wing sound and often giving kok kok kok calls to alert conspecifics. Their flight speed is only 43–61 km/h (27–38 mph) when cruising but when chased they can fly up to 90 km/h (56 mph).

Nesting

Common pheasants nest solely on the ground in scrapes, lined with some grass and leaves, frequently under dense cover or a hedge. Occasionally they will nest in a haystack, or old nest left by other birds they roost in sheltered trees at night. The males are polygynous as is typical for many Phasianidae, and are often accompanied by a harem of several females.[24] Common pheasants produce a clutch of around 8–15 eggs, sometimes as many as 18, but usually 10 to 12; they are pale olive in colour, and laid over a 2–3 week period in April to June. The incubation period is about 22–27 days. The chicks stay near the hen for several weeks, yet leave the nest when only a few hours old. After hatching they grow quickly, flying after 12–14 days, resembling adults by only 15 weeks of age.

They eat a wide variety of animal and vegetable type-food, like fruit, seeds, grain, mast, berries and leaves as well as a wide range of invertebrates, such as leatherjackets, ant eggs, wireworms, caterpillars, grasshoppers and other insects; with small vertebrates like lizards, field voles, small mammals, and small birds occasionally taken.[7]

As an introduced species

Pheasant in Litovelske Pomoravi
Although a non-indigenous species, the common pheasant is farmed even in conservation areas, as seen here in Litovelské Pomoraví Protected Landscape Area in the Czech Republic.
Ring-necked pheasants on shore of the Severn Estuary at Newport Wetlands RSPB Reserve
Introduced male and female foraging at the Newport Wetlands RSPB Nature Reserve in the United Kingdom
Pheasant 3858
A startled male makes a dash for cover.

Common pheasants can now be found across the globe due to their readiness to breed in captivity and the fact they can naturalise in many climates, but were known to be introduced in Europe, North America, Japan and New Zealand. Pheasants were hunted in their natural range by Stone Age humans just like the grouse, partridges, junglefowls and perhaps peafowls that inhabited Europe at that time. At least since the Roman Empire, the bird was extensively introduced in many places and has become a naturalized member at least of the European fauna. Introductions in the Southern Hemisphere have mostly failed, except where local Galliformes or their ecological equivalents are rare or absent.

The bird was naturalized in Great Britain around A.D. 1059, arguably earlier, by the Romano-British.[25] It was the Caucasian subspecies mistakenly known as the 'Old English Pheasant' rather than the Chinese ring-necked pheasants (torquatus) that were introduced to Britain.[26] But it became extirpated from most of the isles in the early 17th century. There were further re-introductions of the 'white neck-ringed' variety in the 18th century. It was rediscovered as a game bird in the 1830s after being ignored for many years in an amalgam of forms. Since then it has been reared extensively by gamekeepers and was shot in season from 1 October to 31 January. Pheasants are well adapted to the British climate and breed naturally in the wild without human supervision in copses, heaths and commons.

By 1950 pheasants bred throughout the British Isles, although they were scarce in Ireland. Because around 30,000,000 pheasants are released each year on shooting estates, mainly in the Midlands and South of England, it is widespread in distribution, although most released birds survive less than a year in the wild. The Bohemian was most likely seen in North Norfolk.[27] The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is researching the breeding success of reared pheasants and trying to find ways to improve this breeding success to reduce the demand to release as many reared pheasants and increase the wild population. As the original Caucasian stock all but disappeared during the Early Modern era, most 'dark-winged ringless' birds in the U.K. are actually descended from 'Chinese ring-necked' and 'green pheasant' hybrids,[28] which were commonly used for rewilding.

North America

Common pheasants were introduced in North America in 1773,[29] and have become well established throughout much of the Rocky Mountain states (Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, etc.), the Midwest, the Plains states, as well as Canada and Mexico.[30][31] In the southwest, they can even be seen south of the Rockies in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge 161 km (100 mi) south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is now most common on the Great Plains. Common pheasants have also been introduced to much of northwest Europe, the Hawaiian Islands, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia including the island state of Tasmania and small offshore islands such as Rottnest Island off Western Australia.[32][33]

Most common pheasants bagged in the United States are wild-born feral pheasants. In some states[34] captive-reared and released birds make up much of the population.[35]

Pheasant hunting is very popular in much of the U.S., especially in the Great Plains states, where a mix of farmland and native grasslands provides ideal habitat. South Dakota alone has an annual harvest of over a million birds a year by over 200,000 hunters.[36]

Much of the North American hunting is done by groups of hunters, who walk through fields and shoot the birds as they are flushed by dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers and English Springer Spaniels. There are also many hunters who use Pointers and Setters, such as English Setters or German Shorthaired Pointers, to find and hold pheasants for hunters to flush and shoot.

As gamebirds

Game birds Borough Market
For sale at Borough Market, London
Kerygma Cockers Echo & Pheasant
Field-bred English Cocker Spaniel has brought in the quarry
PheasantImpact2
Collisions between pheasants and road vehicles are common in the UK[37]

Common pheasants are bred to be hunted and are shot in great numbers in Europe, especially the U.K., where they are shot on the traditional formal "driven shoot" principles, whereby paying guns have birds driven over them by beaters, and on smaller "rough shoots". The open season in the U.K. is 1 October – 1 February, under the Game Act 1831. Generally they are shot by hunters employing gun dogs to help find, flush and retrieve shot birds. Retrievers, spaniels and pointing breeds are used to hunt pheasants.

The doggerel "Up gets a guinea, bang goes a penny-halfpenny, and down comes a half a crown" reflects the expensive sport of 19th century driven shoots in Britain,[38] when pheasants were often shot for sport, rather than as food. It was a popular royal pastime in Britain to shoot common pheasants. King George V shot over 1,000 pheasants out of a total bag of 3,937 over a six-day period in December 1913 during a competition with a friend; however, he did not do enough to beat him.[28]

Common pheasants are traditionally a target of small game poachers in the U.K. but, due to the low value of pheasants in the modern day, some have resorted to stealing chicks or poults from pens.[39] The Roald Dahl novel Danny the Champion of the World dealt with a poacher (and his son) who lived in the United Kingdom and illegally hunted common pheasants.

Pheasant farming is a common practice and is sometimes done intensively. Birds are supplied both to hunting preserves/estates and restaurants, with smaller numbers being available for home cooks.

The carcasses were often hung for a time to improve the meat by slight decomposition, as with most other game. Modern cookery generally uses moist roasting and farm-raised female birds. In the U.K. and U.S., game is making somewhat of a comeback in popular cooking and more pheasants than ever are being sold in supermarkets there.[40] A major reason for this is consumer attitude shift from consumption of red meat to white meat.[40]

See also

References

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Phasianus colchicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 113, 302. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Robertson 1997, pp. 123–136
  4. ^ Sibley 2000, p. 141
  5. ^ "Ring-necked Pheasant". All About Birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  6. ^ a b Scott, p.85
  7. ^ a b British Book of Birds, p.69
  8. ^ The Observer's Book of Birds, p.214
  9. ^ Aldrovandi 1600, pp. 45–59
  10. ^ Olina 1622, p. 49, plate 48
  11. ^ Ray 1713, p. 56
  12. ^ Albin 1731, pp. 24–26
  13. ^ Linnaeus 1758
  14. ^ URB 2007
  15. ^ "pheasant". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  16. ^ Proper 1990, pp. 21–22
  17. ^ e.g. Lin-Liu et al. 2006
  18. ^ Gregory, T.R. (2005). "Birds – Animal Genome Size Database". Genomesize.com. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  19. ^ a b Madge, McGowan & Kirwan 2002
  20. ^ Kayvanfar, N.; Aliabadian, M.; Niu, X.; Zhang, Z.; Liu, Y. (2017). "Phylogeography of the Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus". Ibis. 159 (2): 430–442. doi:10.1111/ibi.12455.
  21. ^ Ray & Adams 2001
  22. ^ Henninger 1906
  23. ^ OOS 2004
  24. ^ NDGFD 1992
  25. ^ Cross 2006
  26. ^ Book of British Birds, p.69
  27. ^ Scott, p.86
  28. ^ a b h2g2 2007
  29. ^ Farm, MacFarlane Pheasants - Pheasant Chicks, Mature Birds, America's Largest Pheasant. "Pheasant History and Facts". www.pheasant.com. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  30. ^ Terry, John (20 August 2011). "Oregon pioneer Owen Nickerson Denny was about more than his birds". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  31. ^ "Pheasant History, Ecology & Biology". Pheasantsforever.org. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  32. ^ Long, John L. (1981). Introduced Birds of the World. Agricultural Protection Board of Western Australia. pp. 21–493.
  33. ^ "Phasianus colchicus Linnaeus, 1758". National Research Infrastructure for Australia.
  34. ^ e.g. Ohio: OOS 2004
  35. ^ Robertson 1997, p. 125
  36. ^ "Pheasant" (PDF). gfp.sd.gov. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  37. ^ "Roadkill: One from the road". The Independent. London. 7 September 2006. Archived from the original on 9 April 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  38. ^ Robertson 1997, p. 124
  39. ^ BBC Four 2005
  40. ^ a b "Game To Eat". Game To Eat. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2011.

Bibliography

External links

Chinese pheasant

Chinese pheasant can refer to any pheasant species originally native to China.

Usually it means either:

Common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) which including the ring-necked pheasants. This usage is most common in the United States where the bird is widely naturalized.

Golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus). This usage is most common elsewhere, particularly in Britain where both species are widely naturalized.Like in all pheasants, the males are unmistakable while the females look much more alike

Dawn chorus (birds)

The dawn chorus occurs when birds sing at the start of a new day. In temperate countries this is most noticeable in spring when the birds are either defending a breeding territory, trying to attract a mate, or calling in the flock. In a given location, it is common for different species to do their dawn singing at different times. In a study of the Ecuadorian forest, it was determined that birds perching higher in the trees and birds with larger eyes tend to pipe up first. These correlations may be caused by the fact that both would also correlate with the amount of light perceived by the bird.Moller used a play-back technique to investigate the effects of singing by the black wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) on the behaviour of both conspecifics and heterospecifics. It was found that singing increased in both groups in response to the wheateater. Moller suggested the dawn (and dusk) chorus of bird song may be augmented by social facilitation due to the singing of conspecifics as well as heterospecifics.In some territories where bird life is extensive and birds are vocal, the sound of a dawn chorus can render early morning sleeping difficult.

Game (hunting)

Game or quarry is any animal hunted for sport or for food, and the meat of those animals. The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world.

Gamebird hybrids

Gamebird hybrids are the result of crossing species of game birds, including ducks, with each other and with domestic poultry. These hybrid species may sometimes occur naturally in the wild or more commonly through the deliberate or inadvertent intervention of humans.

Charles Darwin described hybrids of game birds and domestic fowl in The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication:

Mr. Hewitt, who has had great experience in crossing tame cock-pheasants with fowls belonging to five breeds, gives as the character of all 'extraordinary wildness' (13/42. 'The Poultry Book' by Tegetmeier 1866 pages 165, 167.); but I have myself seen one exception to this rule. Mr. S. J. Salter (13/43. 'Natural History Review' 1863 April page 277.) who raised a large number of hybrids from a bantam-hen by Gallus sonneratii, states that 'all were exceedingly wild.' [...] utterly sterile male hybrids from the pheasant and the fowl act in the same manner, "their delight being to watch when the hens leave their nests, and to take on themselves the office of a sitter." (13/57. 'Cottage Gardener' 1860 page 379.) [...] Mr. Hewitt gives it as a general rule with fowls, that crossing the breed increases their size. He makes this remark after stating that hybrids from the pheasant and fowl are considerably larger than either progenitor: so again, hybrids from the male golden pheasant and female common pheasant "are of far larger size than either parent-bird.' (17/39. Ibid 1866 page 167; and 'Poultry Chronicle' volume 3 1855 page 15.)"

Green pheasant

The green pheasant (Phasianus versicolor), also known as Japanese green pheasant, is an omnivorous bird native to the Japanese archipelago, to which it is endemic. It was formerly considered to be a subspecies of the common, ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus Some taxonomic authorities still consider it a subspecies. It is the national bird of Japan.

Junglefowl

Junglefowl are the four living species of bird from the genus Gallus in the bird order Galliformes, which occur in India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.

These are large birds, with colourful plumage in males, but are nevertheless difficult to see in the dense vegetation they inhabit.

As with many birds in the pheasant family, the male takes no part in the incubation of the egg or rearing of the precocial young. These duties are performed by the drab and well-camouflaged female. Females and males do not form pair bonds; instead, the species has a polygynandrous mating system in which each female will usually mate with several males. Aggressive social hierarchies exist among both females and males, from which the term "pecking order" originate.

The junglefowl are omnivorous, eating a variety of leaves, plant matter, invertebrates such as slugs and insects, and occasionally small mice and frogs.

One of the species in this genus, the red junglefowl, is of historical importance as the ancestor of the domesticated chicken, although the grey junglefowl is likely to be also involved.The Sri Lankan junglefowl is the national bird of Sri Lanka.

Lady Amherst's pheasant

The Lady Amherst's pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) is a bird of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae. The genus name is from Ancient Greek khrusolophos, "with golden crest". The English name and amherstiae commemorates Sarah Amherst, wife of William Pitt Amherst, Governor General of Bengal, who was responsible for sending the first specimen of the bird to London in 1828.The species is native to southwestern China and far northern Myanmar, but has been introduced elsewhere. Previously, a self-supporting feral population was established in England, the stronghold of which was in West Bedfordshire. Lady Amherst first introduced the ornamental pheasant on her estates, near the Duke of Bedford's Woburn Abbey, where the birds were also shot for game and interbred. However since late 2015 the species has been believed to be extirpated in Great Britain with no confirmed sightings since March 2015.

The adult male is 100–120 cm (23 in.) in length, its tail accounting for 80 cm of the total length. It is unmistakable with its nuchal cape white black, with a red crest. The long grey tail and rump is red, blue, dark green, white and yellow plumage. The "cape" can be raised in display. This species is closely related to the golden pheasant (C. pictus), but has a yellow eye, blue-green bare skin around it. The bill is horn-coloured and they had blue-gray legs.The female is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over, similar to that of the female common pheasant (P. colchicus) but with finer barring. She is very like the female golden pheasant, but has a darker head and cleaner underparts than the hen of that species.

Despite the male's showy appearance, these birds are very difficult to see in their natural habitat, which is dense, dark forests with thick undergrowth. Consequently, little is known of their behaviour in the wild.

They feed on the ground on grain, leaves and invertebrates, but roost in trees at night. Whilst they can fly, they prefer to run, but if startled they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed, with a distinctive wing sound. The male has a gruff call in the breeding season. Widespread throughout its large range, the Lady Amherst's pheasant is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Partridge

Partridges are medium-sized non-migratory birds, with a wide native distribution throughout the Old World, including Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. They are sometimes grouped in the Perdicinae subfamily of the Phasianidae (pheasants, quail, etc.). However, molecular research suggests that partridges are not a distinct taxon within the family Phasianidae, but that some species are closer to the pheasants, while others are closer to the junglefowl.

Phasianella ventricosa

Phasianella ventricosa, common name the swollen pheasant shell or common pheasant shell, is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Phasianellidae.

Phasianinae

The Phasianinae (Horsfield, 1821) are a subfamily of the pheasant family (Phasianidae) of landfowl, the order Galliformes. The subfamily includes pheasants, tragopans, junglefowl, peafowl, and other similar birds. Although this subfamily was considered monophyletic and separated from the partridges, francolins, and Old World quails (Perdicinae) till the early 1990s, molecular phylogenies have shown that this two subfamilies actually constitute only one lineage. For example, some partridges (genus Perdix) are more closely affiliated to pheasants, whereas Old World quails and partridges from the genus Alectoris are closer to junglefowls.Phasianinae are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. Males are usually larger than females and have longer tails. Males play no part in rearing the young. They typically eat seeds and some insects.

Phasianoidea

Phasianoidea is a superfamily of birds of the order of the Galliformes.

Phasianus

The "typical" pheasant genus Phasianus in the family Phasianidae consists of at least one species. The genus name comes from Latin phasianinus "pheasant-like" (from phasianus, "pheasant"). Both Phasianus and "pheasant" originally come from the Greek word phāsiānos, meaning "(bird) of the Phasis". Phasis is the ancient name of the main river of western Georgia, currently called the Rioni.

Pheasant

Pheasants () are birds of several genera within the subfamily Phasianinae, of the family Phasianidae in the order Galliformes. Though they can be found world over in introduced (and captive) populations, the pheasant genera native range is restricted to Asia.

Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly decorated with bright colors and adornments such as wattles. Males are usually larger than females and have longer tails. Males play no part in rearing the young.

Pheasants typically eat seeds and some insects.

The best-known is the common pheasant, which is widespread throughout the world, in introduced feral populations and in farm operations. Various other pheasant species are popular in aviaries, such as the golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus).

Pheasant (disambiguation)

Pheasant can refer to

Common pheasant (a.k.a. ring-necked pheasant) (Phasianus colchicus) a species of large bird

Pheasant, Asian wild birds in the family Phasianidae which includes the common pheasant and more than 30 related species

Pheasant shooting

Pheasant shooting is the sport of hunting the common pheasant. It is most popular in the United Kingdom but is practised in other parts of the world. Shooting of game birds is carried out using a shotgun, most often 12 and 20 bore or a .410, often on land managed by a gamekeeper.

Polygyny in animals

Polygyny (; from Neo-Greek πολυγυνία from πολύ- poly- "many", and γυνή gyne "woman" or "wife") is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females, but each female only mates with a single male. Systems where several females mate with several males are defined either as promiscuity or polygynandry. Lek mating is frequently regarded as a form of polygyny because one male mates with many females, but lek-based mating systems differ in that the male has no attachment to the females with whom he mates, and that mating females lack attachment to one another.Polygyny is typical of one-male, multi-female groups and can be found in many species including: elephant seal, gorilla, red-winged warbler, house wren, hamadryas baboon, common pheasant, red deer, Bengal tiger, Xylocopa varipuncta, Anthidium manicatum and elk. Oftentimes in polygynous systems, females will provide the majority of parental care.

Rioni River

The Rioni or Rion River (Georgian: რიონი Rioni, Greek: Φᾶσις Phasis) is the main river of western Georgia. It originates in the Caucasus Mountains, in the region of Racha and flows west to the Black Sea, entering it north of the city of Poti (near ancient Phasis). The city of Kutaisi, once the ancient city of Colchis, lies on its banks. It drains the western Transcaucasus into the Black Sea while its sister, the Kura River, drains the eastern Transcaucasus into the Caspian Sea.

Rush Lake State Game Area

Rush Lake State Game Area is located in Lake Township, Huron County, Michigan. This area has been dedicated for wildlife conservation and management by the Michigan DNR Wildlife Division. The area is 2,102 acres in size and is being managed for the following featured species; eastern wild turkey, mallard, and common pheasant. The preserve can be transversed by an unimproved access called "Sand Road". Sand Road is considered an ancient First Nation trail that transverses the area along the dunes of the shore. Currently Sand Road runs from Caseville, Michigan to Port Austin, Michigan. The Rush Lake State Game area is known by locals for hunting and target shooting.

Languages

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.