Common Pheasant It belongs to the order of the Curonidae, subfamily Phasianinae, is one of the domesticated species, in nature endangered by hunters. In the CIS, common pheasant occurs, as a rule, in the Caucasus, the Far East, southern Turkmenistan, as well as in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. May inhabit the highlands. This species of birds includes 32 subspecies, which differ in color.
Pheasant - description.
Pheasant Males always larger than females. The length of the bird's body is 85 centimeters, while the weight of the carcass can reach two kilograms. Distinctive feature common pheasant is an unfinished ring around the eyes. The pheasant has a very long wedge-like motley tail, winged wings rounded. The male pheasant has spurs on its paws, which it uses during the battles for the female.
Pheasant Males always painted brighter, have metallic luster on feathers. The head and neck of the male half of individuals of yellow-green color with a dark purple tint from below. Pheasant's back feathers, golden with black opalines, slowly turn into nadkhvostiya coppery with purple tint. The tail feathers have a yellow-brown shade with copper-purple edges. The ring around the eyes is bare and bright red.
Pheasant females do not have such a motley color as males. They are always either light brown or gray-sand with black spots or dashes on the feathers.
Where does the pheasant live?
Common pheasant is mostly a settled bird that chooses forests, undergrowths and thickets of thorny shrubs for its houses. This provides them with some protection from predators - the fox is unlikely to want to climb into the prickly bushes without special need. Birds such as pheasants build their nests near the reservoirs, often along the banks of rivers or lakes. The frightened bird will not leave the place and will not fly away to the top of the tree, these birds will rather hide in dense thickets. Perhaps that is why the nests of these birds are located directly on the ground. Pheasants are taken to trees only in order to get high-growing fruits, mostly it happens in late autumn or in winter when there is less food on the ground.
The mating season in pheasants.
Studies of ornithologists have shown that common pheasants are monogamous in the wild, that is, they spend most of their life with one partner. And if they are bred in captivity, they become polygamous. The mating season in pheasants comes in early spring, the clutch can be from 8 to 20 eggs brown color. Pheasant female incubates eggs for 20-28 days, the male does not participate in this. In winter, pheasants live in packs, but females and males live separately.
People domesticated pheasants and often breed them in hunting grounds. However, for hunting, the choice most often falls on a special hybrid species - the hunting pheasant. This is a mixture of Chinese, Caucasian and Semirechensky species.
By the way, an interesting fact: pheasant ordinary is the national bird of Georgia.
Description and external differences
Pheasants have pronounced sexual dimorphism. This means that it is quite simple to distinguish a female from a male, even in appearance.
- have a dull color,
- the plumage is light brown or sandy-gray, there are brown spots,
- average weight is 1.6–1.8 kg.
- much larger and more beautiful than females - the bird seems to be massive because of the thick plumage, which at times increases its volume,
- the plumage is replete with shades of yellow and orange,
- the tail is colorful, the length can reach 60 cm,
- tail feathers are brown with a yellow tinge, shimmering purple at the edges,
- there are bright red circles around the eyes,
- there are small spurs on the legs,
- average weight -1.8–2 kg.
- the head is small, oval, there is a sharp transition between the beak and forehead,
- eyes - round, yellow iris,
- neck - medium length, straight,
- chest - rounded, wide,
- wings - medium length, pressed to the body, the tips do not touch the ground,
- the back is wide, straight,
- legs are long, not muscular.
The maximum length of the body without a tail is 85 cm.
Area of distribution and lifestyle
Although pheasant is called "Caucasian", it is found not only in the mountains. Its habitat extends from the western coastal areas of the Caspian Sea to the Korean Peninsula.
The pheasant inhabits the Volga delta, is found in large numbers in the southeastern part of China. In Central Asia, lives in some parts of Afghanistan and Mongolia. His homeland is the valley of the North Caucasus. Birds settle near reservoirs, preferring high thickets of grasses and shrubs. Since pheasants do not differ in flight abilities, they spend most of their time on the ground, where they not only feed, but also hide from birds of prey. They climb trees only at night.
What feeds pheasant in the wild
Given that the bird feels great in desert and semi-desert regions, its diet can not consist solely of plant food. The pheasant also eats insects, fish, and even small aquatic inhabitants. In this case, the favorite food is the berries of sea buckthorn and blackgrass.
In the presence of a large amount of plant food, the bird prefers various berries, roots and seeds that are found in habitats.
Marriage games start in spring. Up to this point, the birds are kept by the pack in order to make it easier to feed and protect themselves from predators. With the arrival of heat males go to prepare a place for nesting. The pheasant finds a suitable, unoccupied place, after which it takes it and patrols around the perimeter, simultaneously inviting the females. Marital "cry" is a loud singing, which is repeated 3-4 times. Movement in a busy area continues around the clock, except for the time when the bird stops to eat and drink water.
Females move in groups of 3-4 individuals. They come to the call of the males, after which they choose a mate for themselves. Each individual male male zealously protects the boundaries of the territory, so during the mating season there are often clashes that end in serious injuries.
After the female has chosen a partner, the male builds a nest and mating begins. As a rule, pheasant eggs are laid in May or early June. Masonry consists of 8–20 small brown eggs that are incubated by the female (22–28 days).
Care for the young
Since pheasants are wild birds, their maternal instinct is well developed. In captivity, the female still protects the chicks from danger, provides them with warmth and food. 12 hours after hatching, the chicks begin to eat. Starting food are seeds and small insects. At first, the female helps the chicks with the search for food, and also teaches how to properly eat food.
In captivity, specialized feed that can be found on the market will be suitable as starter feed (conventional formulations for chickens will do). An alternative is a liquid millet mash with the addition of cottage cheese and boiled carrots. You can use crushed corn, as well as give a small amount of chicken yolk.
Is it possible to keep in captivity
Many owners are engaged in breeding these birds, as the pheasant not only quickly gets used to such conditions, but also actively breeds in captivity.
First of all, pay attention to the distribution area. Pheasants live in regions where there are no cold winters, so it is important to understand that in the conditions of the Siberian climate, to achieve any kind of productivity is possible only with considerable initial expenses for equipping the enclosure. The adult bird tolerates frosts slightly better than domestic chickens, due to the presence of thick plumage, however, the chicks are very vulnerable to negative temperatures.
Pheasants suffer greatly from stress, so it is important that only one person is watching them. You cannot make loud noises near the bird, make quick movements, and even less show aggression.
You also need to constantly monitor the relationship between individuals. If any pheasant shows aggression towards the rest of the population, it will affect not only the egg production, but also the weight gain.
Pheasants are bred exclusively in large enclosures, where each individual accounts for about 2 square meters. square meters without taking into account the space occupied by shelves, feeders, as well as places where the bird can warm up. Keep them in cramped rooms can not, otherwise you will get emotionally injured thin bird that will not give you posterity.
The enclosure on the perimeter should be fenced with a fine grid, the height of which will not allow pheasants to jump over it (at least 2 m). It is also recommended to dig in the fence to a small depth, because the birds are often looking for invertebrates in the ground, so they can dig a hole under the fence and escape.
“Caucasians” love perfect cleanliness, therefore it is necessary to clean the remains of food and droppings daily from the aviary, as well as to wash and disinfect the water bowl, feeding trough and other containers with which the bird contacts.
Pheasants are kept year-round in an open-air cage, therefore, in the absence of regular cleaning, they will quickly acquire mites and other skin parasites.
In winter, it is necessary to place shelters with warm flooring in the aviary, which will help the birds to warm up. Also during the cold weather it is important to control the passions inside the bird “collective”, since it is in winter that various skirmishes occur most often due to lack of space.
Pheasants should not be fed exclusively with factory or homemade combined feed, as this will not give the desired effect, and individuals will slowly gain weight and also suffer from various diseases.
The daily rate for one individual is 75 g. In the summer, the lion's share of the diet is greens, vegetables and fruits. Since the bird is contained in a large, non-cemented aviary, it can easily find a source of protein (worms, insects).
In winter, the standard feed should consist of the following products:
- chopped corn - 45%,
- crushed wheat - 20%,
- vegetables - 20%,
- fish or meat and bone meal - 10%,
- yeast - 3%,
- vitamin and mineral premix - 2%.
Perfectly balanced diet:
- sunflower seeds,
- germinated grain,
- cottage cheese,
- flour worms.
Pheasants: photo and description
In the photo you can see exactly how these birds look and what their distinctive features are. Males are somewhat larger than females and weigh up to 3 kg. And females weigh less than a kilogram. Males have a body length of about 70 cm, and females on average 55 cm, respectively.
The description of the male is:
- long wedge-shaped tail
- spurs on the legs,
- shiny and colorful feathers,
- some subspecies have a white ring around their neck,
- a small comb on the head,
- pale purple wings at the edges,
- light brown tail.
The females are motley and not so spectacular, the young are similar in color to the females, only their tails are not too long. As they mature, bright feathers appear on their heads, backs and breasts.
If we talk about reproduction, they are monogamous. Females build nests right on the ground. Breeding lasts from April to June, and in the tub there are 10-16 eggs. They are hatched by the female itself for about 25 days. Chicks live near their mother for about 15 weeks, at which time they grow to the size of adult birds. Life expectancy is about 15 years.
Nutrition of pheasants and habitat
Birds live in localities such as:
Most of all these birds like groves near water. Pheasants are gregarious birds, outside the breeding season they live in large groups.
Pheasants feed on the following:
- young shoots
- little birds
For the winter, pheasants lose weight badly because they lack feed.
Pheasants are common on the Great Plains, and in regions such as:
It is worth adding that there is a great hunt for pheasants in all countries where they live. In the year shoots about millions of birds.
At home, the content of pheasants, regardless of the breed is the same. It is very important to provide the bird with a large covered enclosure, this will be as comfortable as possible for them. Pheasants are frost resistant birds, but do not like drafts. In the aviary, the floor should be expelled with a large amount of straw or sawdust litter.
Also, pheasants have a weak immune system, so sometimes they need to be given antibiotics to protect against diseases.
Romanian bird species
This bird is often called Green or Emerald, feathers have a green tide, in some cases there is a blue or yellow. This kind of individuals bred specifically for meat. They gain up to 2.5 kg of weight, massively breed these birds and feed up to 1.5 months. During the spring and summer, they carry up to 60 eggs.
Silver breed of bird - one of the most common, it is semi-wild, but it is often bred as an ornamental animal and for meat preparation.
The male weighs on average about 4 kg, the female - two times less. The color is special, the head and neck are covered with black feathers, the body of the bird has a light gray or white color, on top it is covered with dark stripes. The head is decorated with a red mask.
The female is very different in appearance from the male, her plumage is light brown, has a greenish or olive outflow. This kind of bird has good immunity, more rarely. Thanks to its thick plumage, the bird is well protected from strong wind and frost. They feed it with special food, which is also given to layers or geese. Reproduction at home, this bird gives in badly.
Such individuals are very bright and pretentious. Their feathers have a dark green color on the back, wings and neck, it is white on the stomach, and black on the tail, respectively. On the head there is a red tuft.
The female diamond pheasant has a less motley color, the tail is not too long. Outwardly, it is similar to other types of representatives, they are distinguished only by the color of the rims around the eyes.
In the wild, the natural habitat of diamond pheasant is similar to that of some others. Diamond breed at home is bred more often than others, the only exception is ordinary rock. Females are able to incubate up to 20 eggs, they take care of the chicks on their own. The peculiarity of this breed is also in the fact that both parents raise chicks and this takes a sufficient amount of time.
This type of bird is one of the largest. is he has three subcategories:
Eared birds have such distinctive features:
- short legs,
- white feathers that look like ears,
- powerful weight.
Most often they inhabit in the mountain ranges of East Asia.
Blue eared pheasant has a blue-blue color, lives in large flocks. Even during the breeding season, birds are kept together in a schooling way. Birds get food through claws and key. They feed on juicy greens and insects.
Pheasants are incredibly beautiful and spectacular birds. They are able to live both at home and in the wild. In the photo you can see their diversity in terms of color.
The common pheasant can reach a length of 85 cm, the weight of an adult individual is about 1.8-2 kg, while females are smaller than males. The peculiarity of this particular type of pheasants is the red ring of bare skin around the eyes, making it look more expressive. The tail consists of 18 very long feathers, forming a wedge-like triangle tapering towards the end.
Males are colored brightly, brightly, diversely and, depending on the subspecies, can combine blue, yellow, orange, green and even violet or lilac tones in their color. At the same time, the head, the neck and the breast are painted most brightly, and the tail in more calm yellow, brown and violet tones. Description of the appearance of the Caucasian pheasant completes a set of sharp spurs, which the male sets in motion both during the mating season and for self-defense.
The female has an inconspicuous wild coloring: black and brown spots are scattered in the correct order in the sandy background. The tail is much shorter than that of the male, and the patches of bare skin around the eyes are not so noticeable.
Gallery: Caucasian pheasant (25 photos)
Favorite habitats of pheasant in nature are high thickets of grass, deaf bushes, forests with undergrowth, reeds and other vegetation along the banks of lakes and rivers. Since he prefers to hide from enemies rather than fly away, he likes the thorny bushes along the edges and sides of roads and fields, as well as climbing plants, among which you can easily hide. The habitat of the bird is quite wide. Pheasants can be found from Turkey and the Caucasus region to China and Vietnam. Держатся птицы вместе достаточно большими стаями до 150 особей практически все время, за исключением периода размножения. Зимой самки и самцы живут порознь, отдельными группами.
The common pheasant can reach a length of 85 cm, the weight of an adult individual is about 1.8-2 kg, while females are smaller than males
Although the common pheasant has a terrestrial lifestyle, it still can fly, or rather plan, but not for long. Already one take-off on a tree branch tires a bird, after which it needs a long rest. As food of an ordinary pheasant mainly small fruits and berries, various seeds and green escapes serve. In addition, birds collect worms, beetles, spiders, caterpillars, and can catch other insects. The common pheasant feeds by digging out the earth bedding and soil with its paws and beak, just like domestic chickens do. Pheasants bounce to get berries from the bushes, sometimes flying trees to get to especially tasty fruits.
Their diet is not only insects, grains, fruits, berries, bulbs, roots of plants, tubers, nuts and acorns. They can eat worms, snails, and even young snakes and rodents. It has been discovered that the Colorado beetles are the favorite dish of these birds. In addition, for pheasant, as well as for other chickens, so-called gastroliths are necessary, that is, large grains of sand or small pebbles for an effective digestion process.
Sexual behavior and chicks
The mating season is for chickens in March and may continue until June. Since pheasants are territorial birds, the flock in this period breaks up into smaller family groups, and the males start to patrol their territory with loud cries, which can range from 12 to 45 hectares, while simultaneously stalking to attract females. They pull up their necks, lift their tails and shout sometimes gently, then aggressively, from time to time engaging in fights with potential rivals.
Pheasants can be found from Turkey and the Caucasus region to China and Vietnam.
Nests of pheasants are built on the ground in a secluded place and lay from 8 to 18 eggs. The female incubates the eggs in complete solitude for about 28 days, after which it also leads the chicks alone. The male's family characteristics end immediately after the moment of fertilization, it ceases to protect both the female and the clutch. Interestingly, the pheasant is a very shy bird, any sudden movement or an unexpected sound can greatly frighten him, put him in a stressful state and deteriorate his health.
Constant stressful situations can even lead to pheasants eating each other.
Research by ornithologists has discovered an interesting pattern: it turned out that in the wild nature, the Caucasian pheasant leads a monogamous lifestyle, that is, it spends most of its time with the same partner. However, if the birds are kept in close enclosures, then life forces them to become polygamous. It is possible that the stress of bondage, of restricting choice and losing the possibility of full movement, begins to manifest itself in this way. Suffice it to recall the distorted sexual behavior of prisoners in prisons.
In recent years, it has become fashionable to install tiny open-air cages of up to 6 m² in urban parks, where the sun never looks, and where several rather large and very beautiful birds run around the perimeter nervously. The world would be better if the conditions of keeping ordinary pheasants in captivity would be a little more humane.
Character and way of life
The owner of such colorful feathers in life has to constantly hide, so as not to become prey to a predator. Pheasant is extremely shy and cautious. Prefers to hide in the bushes or is in the high thick grass. As far as possible, climb trees and rest among the foliage. Before descending to the ground for a long time looking around. Then suddenly and rapidly falls down, abruptly changes the angle and goes on a horizontal trajectory, planning in the air.
It is interesting! Among all the representatives of the family of grouse-like pheasants is a record holder in running speed. The posture that he takes when running is also interesting: he pulls the neck and head forward while raising his tail. So, instinctively laid mechanism, helps to significantly improve the aerodynamics of running.
With the exception of the breeding season, the coming spring pheasants are kept by the same-sex group. Groups of males are more numerous than groups of females. Exits commit to finding food in the morning and evening. With the arrival of spring, the behavior changes. Pheasants are kept in small groups of families. For life choose an area near the reservoir, rich in vegetation and food. Settled in the forests, undergrowths.
Thickets of thorny shrubs that protect these birds from predators are very fond of. A large predator only in extreme cases will climb through the thorny bushes. Tugai thickets and impassable reed sections of river valleys complain. Nests are built on the ground, near water. In normal time, the pheasant gives voice only in flight. The sound is sharp, strong, jerky. During the over current period, it emits special voice signals.
The pheasant is widespread quite widely: from the Pyrenean Peninsula to the Japanese Islands. It lives in the Caucasus, in Turkmenistan, in the Far East, in North America and in Europe. Able to live wherever in winter the height of the snow cover does not exceed 20 cm. In the mountains, he feels comfortable at an altitude of up to 2600 m with hell sea level.
Common Pheasant Diet
The diet of pheasant consists of plant foods: seeds, berries, shoots, fruits. Eat over one hundred plant species. Pheasants also do not refuse animal food: worms, snails, insects, spiders, small snakes and rodents. However, more pheasants prefer plant foods. Newborn pheasants feed for a month only on food of animal origin, and growing up mainly transfers to the vegetable diet.
For good digestion, pheasants need a gastrolite: pebbles. Food is mined on the ground, raking the ground with strong paws and a sharp beak. From the bushes collect food bouncing. During the period when food becomes less, can find the remains of fruits on trees.
The natural enemies of ordinary pheasants are jackals, foxes, pumas, lynxes, wild dogs, and also some species of birds of prey, such as owls, hawks.
Important! In natural conditions, in the first year of life, almost 80% of individuals die.
In modern conditions, the greatest threat to pheasants is man. Valuable, nutritious meat of these birds is the cause of hunting for them. Man often uses hunting dogs to catch pheasants, which are very easy and fast for these birds. Having found a pheasant, the dog pushes it on a tree and at the moment when the bird takes off, the hunter makes a shot.
Tasty and nutritious pheasant meat has long been valued by people. 100 grams contains 254 kcal. Pheasant meat has a beneficial effect on the body, increases its resistance to various diseases, strengthens the immune system. Pheasants began to be raised from about the 19th century. Used for hunting, food, and atkzhe to decorate the yard. Decorative functions usually served as a golden pheasant.
In the 20th century, breeding of pheasants in private lands became a familiar thing.. Domestic pheasants brought considerable profits to the owners. There is a separate branch-phezanovodstvo. The bird is bred in hunting farms, regularly increasing the number of individuals by the fall - the active hunting season. A special hunting species appears - a mixture of Chinese, Semirechensky and Caucasian species. It also becomes available to purchase chicks in a private farm, for eating and decorating the yard.
Population and species status
The livestock of pheasants is quickly restored despite their active use in hunting. Among natural causes, climatic conditions and predators affect the numbers. In the first case, a decline in numbers occurs after snowy, cold winters. If the snow level becomes more than 20 cm and lasts a long time. In general, the number of pheasant reaches 300 million heads. The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers pheasant to be the “least worrisome” species.
origin of name
The name of the largest representatives of the Kurinsky Detachment is associated with the Georgian Rioni River, which is more than 300 km long, on which several hydropower stations are located today. The ancient Greeks nicknamed her Phasis. Probably, it was the detection of these birds on the banks of this river that gave them this name.
According to another version, pheasants were called like this after seeing them for the first time around the city with the same name. In the 6th century, the Carians founded the Phasis colony on the southern bank of the Phasis River, which was the easternmost city of the Pont area and a trading center.
Species of the genus Pheasants
The division of the genus Pheasants into two species is highly controversial, since not all ornithologists agree that common pheasant and green pheasant are two separate species. Some of them believe that the latter is a subspecies of the first. The green pheasant is found today in Japan, North America and Hawaii, and in size it is much smaller than the pheasant.
In the territory of the CIS countries green pheasants are not found, but common pheasants are common. They can also be seen in the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia, in the countries of Central Asia and the Far East. In some zones, one of more than 30 subspecies of the common pheasant lives, in others - several at once.
Subspecies of the pheasant
Some of the more than 30 subspecies of the common pheasant used to be considered separate species of the genus Pheasants. However, a detailed study of the birds helped to find out that all of them belong to common pheasants and differ mainly in one coloring, and the differences are most pronounced in males. Pheasants that have more dramatic differences, such as long feathers on the ears or the breast, belong to other genera of the Pheasant family.
The Transcaucasian pheasant has a green head, light brown wings, a purple chest, and a neck. In North Caucasus, unlike the previous one, there is a brown or brown spot on the belly. The Tajik pheasant is endowed with a black-green breast and a yellow-red upper body. One of the subspecies - hunting pheasant - is the result of the creative introduction of man. It was created by crossing the Transcaucasian and Chinese subspecies.
A review of the common (Caucasian) pheasant includes a description of its dimensions and appearance. The body of this bird is very close in structure with the body of a chicken, from which an ordinary pheasant has a very long tail. In the coloring of the males of its various types there are green, purple, yellow, gold and other rich colors. The skin around the eyes is bright red without feathers. According to the bird custom, females have a nondescript pockmarked color in brown, sand or gray tones.
A male pheasant can reach a length of 90 cm, of which 50 is the 18th striped tail, and the length of the female usually does not exceed 60 cm, half of which is the length of the tail. The maximum mark to which the weight of one common pheasant can reach is 2 kg.
The diet of pheasants includes both plant and animal food. With their powerful legs, they skillfully dig up various roots and seeds in the ground, as well as bugs and worms. The pheasant's menu may include more berries and clams. In the fall, pheasants gain weight, and in the winter they quickly drop it, since they have to expend tremendous efforts to get food. During the short winter day, they do not have time to get so much food so as not to waste their own fat reserves. Many individuals do not live until spring.
All pheasants have many enemies. “Worm - pheasant - fox” - this is how an exemplary food chain looks like with the participation of these birds. Common Pheasant is eaten by foxes, coyotes, jackals, hawks, goshawks, jays, magpies, crows, birds of prey.
Pheasant meat is valued more than chicken, and besides, they carry eggs well. Farmers breed them in specially constructed cages, and people who do not have a farm, usually make spacious enclosures. It is important to take care that there are bushes or any buildings in the bird’s territory where she could hide herself and where her fearful offspring could hide.
For breeding ordinary pheasants, you must buy fertilized eggs or chickens, or purchase or catch a male and a female of the same species. After that, caring owners carefully study the subspecies of the common pheasant, which they deal with in order to create optimal living conditions for it. No less carefully should pick up a daily diet for birds. Nutrition of pheasants plays an important role in the well-being of birds and their ability to multiply.
The pheasants are madly in love with the Colorado beetles, so they can be used to save planted potatoes without the use of toxic chemicals. These birds are prone to stress, which can affect their health, their ability to lay eggs and reproduce. They may become agitated because of sudden movements around, due to a change of owners or an established regime.
Features of hunting for pheasants
Pheasant hunting is not allowed everywhere. In the spring, a general ban was imposed on their capture or shooting. Usually hunting is done with a dog, often with a spaniel. Having caught the trail of a bird, the dog runs after it, and when the pheasant takes off, the hunter shoots. The dog finds a dead or wounded bird in the thickets and carries it to the owner. Pheasant hunting is carried out only in the morning and evening part of the day, when the bird leaves the secluded corner in which it lives.
In many parts of the world, pheasant hunting is very popular. Sports interest, as well as the great taste of meat have developed such a great interest in this activity. In antiquity, when there was a question about what would be served to the royal table: an ordinary pheasant or an ordinary chicken, the choice always fell on the first one. He was served on a platter in full plumage.
Common pheasants have a bright multi-colored color, but they are not as beautiful as other members of the Pheasant family, for example, the golden or eared pheasant. But this type is the fastest in the race. For birds, this is certainly a big plus, but for hunters for their valuable meat, this, of course, is a huge minus. Pheasants adapt well in captivity, if the aviary has enough space and secluded thickets or special buildings for solitude.