Monday, July 27, 2009

In the countryside... Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked PheasantRing-necked Pheasant, Catlow Valley, Harney Co., Oregon on 27 May 2007 by Greg Gillson.


The first Ring-necked Pheasants were introduced from China to North America in 1881 in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon by Judge Denny. It is still common to hear them referred to as "China Pheasants" or "Denny Pheasants." By 1894 over one-quarter million pheasants were hunted in western Oregon. They have been pen-raised locally ever since and spread to the rest of the Pacific Nortwest and been introduced widely throughout North America for hunting purposes.

Pheasants inhabit farms and agricultural lands and suburban edges. They eat a wide variety of items including fruit and berries, seeds, leaves, and insects such as grasshoppers.

In the spring, males begin courtship with loud crowing and wing flaps. In June and July one may see females and broods of young.


  1. How self-sustaining are pheasants in the wilds of the northwest? I know there are lots of people in Utah and Idaho that still pen-raise them and then release them.

  2. Check out this article that shows that in this study at Finley refuge in western Oregon in the 1970's no pen-raised male pheasants released in the fall survived to the following year. Out of 335 females only 17 young were produced the next spring. There were still some "wild" pheasants in the area but the population continues to dwindle.

    East of the Cascades the population seems to be holding its own.

  3. Saw a pheasant the other day at work in Salem.
    Work in a building in the middle of a wet land.
    He crowed so loud from outside, I ran from my desk to a window and saw him.