Pheasant Facts

Pheasant Facts
Pheasant is a bird that is closely related to wild chickens, quails and partridges. There are 35 species of pheasant that originate from Asia. These birds are widely distributed in Asia, Europe and North America today. Pheasants inhabit forests, scrublands, swamps, grasslands and areas near the farms. They are popular game birds that are consumed as delicacy in various parts of the world. Other factor which negatively affects population of wild pheasants is habitat destruction. Even though number of pheasant decreases continuously in the wild, they are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Pheasant Facts:
Pheasants can reach 20 to 36 inches in length and 2 to 4 pounds of weight. Males are much larger than females.
Males and females do not look alike. This phenomenon is known as sexual dimorphism. Males are brightly colored and covered with golden, brown, green, purple and white feathers. Head is red and equipped with small crest. Neck is green and have white collar. Females are covered with brown plumage. Young males are brown in color until the age of 10 weeks when they become brightly colored.
Pheasants have long, strong legs with four toes equipped with sharp claws. Males have long tails.
Pheasants have excellent eyesight and sense of hearing which are used for detection of predators.
Pheasants can run at the speed of 8 to 10 miles per hour and fly at the speed of 35 to 45 miles per hour. Pheasants are also able to swim.
Pheasants are omnivores (their diet includes animals and plants). They usually eat seed, berries, fruit, insects, worms and small reptiles. Pheasants are able to dig one foot through the snow to find food during the winter.
Main predators of pheasants are foxes, hawks and owls which hunt young birds and raccoons and skunks which feed on the eggs.
Pheasants are not migratory birds. They stay in their roosts during the cold weather. Pheasants are able to survive without food couple of days.
During the summer, pheasants breathe rapidly (quickly exhale and inhale) to eliminate excess body heat and maintain stable body temperature.
Pheasants are gregarious birds that live in small flocks outside the mating season.
Male (rooster) forms harem of 3 to 7 females (hens) during the mating season.
Hens lay around 12 (up to 20) eggs. Incubation lasts 23 days. Mother takes care of the chicks until they learn to fly. That usually happens two weeks after hatching.
Females have several broods per year. They sometimes even adopt abandoned or lost chickens.
Pheasants have low survival rate. 35% of young birds die before they reach the age of 6 to 10 weeks. Only 2-3% birds manage to survive to the age of 3 years.
Pheasants can survive up to 3 years in the wild.

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