Category Archives: 02) Grouse to Pheasants

In Praise of Pheasants

They do look good even if…

…we introduced them and they really belong somewhere else, more exotic. This is the season of male Pheasants looking their most gaudy and attractive. Hormones roaring they are also more approachable and more aggressive (towards other males)- seemingly sometimes oblivious of humans. Here are a few of the different plumages I have encountered in the  last week or so mostly in the Sheffield area. Just for fun! I found roughly 4 different types. Though I hardly know anything about this subject at all, just interested in the variety. I have also seen those all dark greeny- black males in the Sheffield area which are not however true ‘Green Pheasants’ Phasianus versicolor.

  • Caucasus Pheasants, Phasianus colchicus colchicus group
  • Tarim Pheasants, Phasianus colchicus tarimensis group
  • Chinese Ring-necked Pheasants, Phasianus colchicus torquatus group
  • Mongolian Ring-necked Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus mongolicus group

This one looks very cool  and seems to fit ‘Tarim Pheasant’, tarimensis group.

Close to the original Caucasus Pheasants, colchicus group , though needs to lose the neck-ring which I guess indicates mixed genes with Chinese/ Mongolian Ring-necked groups.

Blue rump and pale wing coverts, with big white neck ring  seems bit more of Chinese Ring-necked Pheasants, torquatus group?

A couple of fighting males with mixed-up plumage characters from different groups I guess.

Reeve’s Pheasant near Harrogate

North Yorkshire

Great friend of mine, Si Ross was out cycling yesterday. Not especially a birder but very keen cyclist and photographer sent me the photo below, wondering what it was. Quick eyes will recognize a male Reeve’s Pheasant. It’s not on the British list, but I think is/was Category C in France. Anyway pretty stunning bird. I have seen one in France but never in UK. Maybe locals know about it, maybe not? In case anyone in the area is interested, here’s the bird and where it was seen.