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Merlin Bird ID

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    Ring-necked Pheasant

    ID Info
    Silhouette Game BirdsGame Birds

    Ring-necked Pheasant

    Phasianus colchicus
    • ORDER: Galliformes
    • FAMILY: Phasianidae
    Basic Description

    Ring-necked Pheasants stride across open fields and weedy roadsides in the U.S. and southern Canada. Males sport iridescent copper-and-gold plumage, a red face, and a crisp white collar; their rooster-like crowing can be heard from up to a mile away. The brown females blend in with their field habitat. Introduced to the U.S. from Asia in the 1880s, pheasants quickly became one of North America’s most popular upland game birds. Watch for them along roads or bursting into flight from brushy cover.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Ring-necked PheasantRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Because they live in tall vegetation and old fields, Ring-necked Pheasants can be hard to see even in places where they’re numerous. Keep an eye out for them running between patches of cover as you travel through agricultural areas—particularly along dirt roads where the birds often forage in weedy areas. Winter is a good time to look for Ring-necked Pheasants, when vegetation is at a minimum, crops have been harvested, and some areas have a snowy backdrop for the birds to stand out against. In spring and summer, listen and watch for males performing their calling and wing-flapping display in open areas.

    Other Names
    • Faisán de Collar (Spanish)
    • Faisan de Colchide (French)

    Backyard Tips

    This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

    • Cool Facts