A male ring-necked pheasant runs through the woods as he hears me open the back door, too quick for me to catch more than a glimpse of his gorgeous plumage. In winter, male pheasants hang out with other males, but in spring, they begin to separate and seek their own territories. Could this one be considering making his ‘crowing ground’ in my yard?
I wonder if the male relies on his beautiful plumage or his charming personality to attract peahens to his harem. A single male is known to keep as many as a dozen females under his thumb. A couple of years ago, I saw a male boss several females around the yard, limiting their movements and giving no indication whatsoever of being ‘hen pecked.’
In Cow Bay, pheasants are frequently seen crossing roads and hanging out in yards. They seem to thrive here, despite the fact that they’re a non-native oriental species. They enjoy insects, berries and seeds. Their olive green eggs are laid in a nest on the ground and hatch in late spring.
Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2014