January 29, 2023

Ring-necked Pheasants in the Wild


Ring-necked Pheasants in the Wild

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Ring-necked Pheasant crowing]

Even though the Ring-necked Pheasant can be found across a large part of the United States, it isn’t actually native to this continent. Back in 1881, an American living in Shanghai sent a shipment of pheasants from China to Oregon to start a breeding colony. From there, the birds spread throughout the Northwest. Others were introduced to the Midwest and elsewhere in the country.

[Ring-necked Pheasant crowing; http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/105675 ]

Ring-necked Pheasants owe much of their expansion across the continent to their popularity as game birds. Hunters and birders alike admire the cock pheasant’s spectacular, ornate feathering. And for many years, pheasants thrived in the country’s rural landscapes. Small farms offered hay fields and fallow acres to find food, and hedgerows and stands of trees provided cover.

[Ring-necked Pheasant crowing]

Today, though, industrial farming practices leave less and less room for pheasants. Hedgerows are disappearing. Weedy cover is burned or sprayed with weed killer. And nesting sites are lost to more frequent hay-mowing or overgrazing by livestock.

But there is hope for wild pheasants: in some areas of the country, wildlife agencies are working with private landowners to protect the habitat these birds need for feeding, nesting, and roosting through the seasons.

[Ring-necked Pheasant crowing]

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

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Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
Narrator: Michael Stein
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2019 BirdNote   October 2014 / 2019 / 2021

ID#  RNEP-02-2014-10-10    RNEP-02b

example providing guidelines for landowners to help conserve pheasants
useful background link

Published at Sat, 16 Oct 2021 03:00:00 -0400

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