One of my family's favorite garden visitors is our resident Ring-necked Pheasants. Ring-necked Pheasant's have always reminded me of royalty, their long flowing tails and jewel tone plumage just say 'royalty' to me. I admire their graceful postures and the variety of color in their feathers.
My most fond memories of a Ring-necked Pheasant are about our "Mr. Pheasant", a small male Ring-necked Pheasant with whom my sister's horse, Razzy, developed a very sweet little friendship. Mr. Pheasant had had an injury to his leg ~ he walked with a limp for the rest of his life and couldn't cover very many miles in search of food.
Razzy and Mr. Pheasant spending time together ~ Photo By, my sister, Candis Wasell
We were delighted when Mr. Pheasant started visiting our yard daily ~ so my sister and I started setting out seed or suet for him at breakfast and dinner time. He even learned my sister's schedule for feeding her goats and Razzy and he would come at feed time to get his meal too ! Mr. Pheasant would come running when he would hear my sister shaking his feed container and would eat side by side with her old Arabian mare. Razzy loved Mr. Pheasant and would even let him get in her food bowl and share her meal each day. She would even share her barn with him when it was raining ! Razzy and Mr. Pheasant spent the later years of their lives enjoying each other's company each day. We remember their sweet bond with fondness and it brings a smile to my face just remembering the two friends.
Those memories are very special to our family ~ so for this month's In Scope, I'm featuring the Ring-necked Pheasant, in honor of Mr. Pheasant and Razzy.
Razzy and Mr. Pheasant ~ best friends ! Photo By, my sister, Candis Wasell
Did you know....
Feeding and Gardening for Pheasants
When it comes to plants and feeder foods, keep in mind that pheasants are ground birds. Dense ground cover and food and water offered at low levels make a very pheasant-friendly habitat.
Here are some plants that attract pheasants:
Berries (raspberries, blackberries, blackberries, bayberries, etc.)
Grasses and Weeds ~ dandelion, goldenrod, ragweed and other grass and weed seeds
Roses (for cover and rose hips for eating)
Oaks (for acorns)
Rhododendrons (for cover)
A low basin or birdbath filled daily with clean water is a big draw for pheasants and other game birds. Make sure to make water available at ground level if you want pheasants and quail to enjoy it.
Zoom In: Species Profile
Mr. Pheasant ~ looking very regal !
The scientific name of the Ring-necked Pheasant is Phasiannus colchicus. Pheasants are large birds with long tail feathers. The male and female of the species look different from one another. The male is a patterned brown and a metallic russet over most of his body, he has an iridescent green head, red wattles and eye patches around each eye and a white ring around his neck, which is why they are called Ring-necked Pheasants.
The female is a golden brown all over her body with some mottled plumage. She has a shorter tail than the male pheasant.
Males give a 'caw-cawk' crowing sound (which I call 'trumpeting') accompanied by loud wing beats. When a male pheasant is startled, he flies up from the ground and gives a cackle-like alarm call.
The preferred habitat of the Ring-necked Pheasant is in agricultural areas, farm fields and the outer perimeter of woodlands. Marshy, wet fields are one of their favorite habitats ~ they are almost always found in wet pastureland areas. Pheasants will make themselves quite at home in rural neighborhoods, along country roads and in gardens with abundant low ground cover or tall grasses. Males are very territorial and will even fight each other to gain control of a large area and to win the females within their territory.
The nest of the Ring-necked Pheasant is a shallow indent in the grass which is well hidden by long grasses and weeds. Into this nest the female lays 6 - 15 creamy or olive green colored eggs.
The range of the Ring-neck Pheasant in North America includes parts of Canada, south to Washington State, Oregon, and Idaho (the Pacific Northwest), parts of California, the Mid-West and parts of the Eastern United States. Ring-necked Pheasants are year round residents within their range.
Mr. Pheasant and one of his junco friends....
This month's activities include a Ring-necked Pheasant coloring page and a Thanksgiving themed memory game that's a twist on Turkey In The Straw. All of these activities are available in a free PDF format ~ simply click here, download, print and enjoy !
"The eyes of all wait for You [looking, watching, and expecting] and You give them their food in due season.
You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing with favor."
~ Psalm 145:15-16 AMP
This month as the Thanksgiving season is drawing near, it is important to remember to thank God for our many blessings, because it is from Him that we receive everything we have.
Every one, from the pheasant in the field, to woodpecker in the forest, to all the people and animals in the world, every one of us is dependant on God and His provision for us.
I'll close with some of the words from one of my favorite old hymns, "Praise To God". The words to this hymn were written by Anna L. Barbauld.
Praise to God, immortal praise,
For the love that crowns our days;
Bounteous Source of every joy,
Let Thy praise our tongues employ.
Flocks that whiten all the plain;
Yellow sheaves of ripened grain;
Clouds that drop their fattening dews,
Suns that temperate warmth diffuse.
All that Spring with bounteous hand
Scatters o’er the smiling land;
All that liberal Autumn pours
From her rich o’erflowing stores.
These to Thee, my God, we owe,
Source whence all our blessings flow;
And for these my soul shall raise
Grateful vows and solemn praise.
God bless you !
By, Jessi Wasell