Ring-Necked PheasantOctober 25, 2009

To tell the truth, I wasn't certain whether I should include ring-necked pheasants with my birding pages. Ring-necked pheasants are not a native American species; they were brought from Europe. Unliked other nonnative birds, the ring-necked pheasant - in Pennsylvania - doesn't survive in the wild; every autumn farm-raised pheasants are dropped into the game lands so that some people can experience the "thrill" of killing.

This year, a hundred thousand ring-necked pheasants are being desposited throughout the game lands of Pennsylvania. Here, at the small game land just north of me, 1320 pheasants will be dropped off overall. The initial drop before the start of the pheasant season included 470 pheasants.

So last Friday in the game land, the day before the season opened, I saw pheasants wandering about. They seem to be without purpose, but the male pheasant is a handsome bird.

Male ring-necked pheasant
  The following female (or hen) ring-necked pheasant looks befuddled.
Female ring-necked pheasant, or hen
  Before the shooting begins, the pheasants wander around in small groups. They tend to stay on or near the paths.
Two female ring-necked pheasants
  On the next day, Saturday, the opening of the pheasant season, it sounded like a military skirmish, with shotguns repeatedly firing. Considering the lack of sense of farm-raised pheasants (and I've yet to see a ring-necked pheasant attempt to eat anything), the lucky birds die first. RIP.

Photo note: I used a Pentax K200D, with the SMC 1000mm reflex lens, on October 23, 2009.

My Pennsylvania bird list

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