Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ring-necked Pheasant in The Drizzle

Birders,

I just love birding on rainy mornings!  This morning while on Turkey Hill Road in West Newbury, I came across this handsome Ring-necked Pheasant.  

  • Pheasants, along with most members of the grouse family, have specialized, powerful breast muscles. These 
  • muscles deliver bursts of power that allow the birds to flush nearly vertically into the air and reach speeds 
  • of close to 40 miles/hr.
  • While the birds are short distance flyers [600 feet at a time], strong winds can extend their flights. 
  • In 1941, observers reported seeing a pheasant fly across a body of water - a record four miles.  
  • Ring-necked Pheasants sometimes cope with cold by simply remaining dormant for days at a time.
  • Pheasants practice "harem polygyny" where one male keeps "his" group of females during the breeding 
  • season.
Ring-necked Pheasant
by Sue McGrath


I find Ring-necked Pheasants in both agricultural land and old fields.  In Essex County,  they especially like fields with grass ditches, hedges, marshes, woodland borders, fallen trees and brush groves. Ring-necked Pheasants gravitate to particular kinds of habitat for specific activities. They're known to roost in trees or dense shrubs.  Early in the nesting season, they seek cover along grassy roadsides, fence lines, ditches and wetlands. As the season progresses,  the vegetation grows taller and denser; they'll shift to fields of hay with a fondness for alfalfa.

Good birding,
Sue

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