Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Strut Your Stuff

This morning about 7 am, Ken spotted something in the roadway. We didn't know what it was at first. It came out of the grass near the outdoor theater and strutted across the street in front of our car. I thought it was a chicken by its size and the walk, but then Ken realized it was a ring-neck pheasant. I had never seen nor heard of one before so this was a new discovery and observation for me. It was a beautiful bird with a white ring around its neck, red and green on its head and a beautiful golden body with a long tail. He was a good size (about the size of a chicken) and didn't appear flustered at all by our car. He just strutted his stuff across the street until he walked into the grassy area on the other side of the street. Of course, we didn't have the camera with us, but I will definitely now be on the look out for this bird and hopefully will be ready to capture him with the camera.

Tonight I did a little research online on this beautiful bird. The one we saw was definitely a male as the females are not colorful but rather shades of brown.  They are much smaller also. The males will strut to attract the attention of the female for breeding so perhaps there was a female waiting on the other side of the road for that beautiful strutting specimen. The males often mate with more than one hen.

They build their nests on the ground in a shallow depression and line it with grass and weeds. The female constructs the nest and incubates the eggs and the male protects the nest and hen. It takes about 23-25 days for the brown or green eggs to hatch.

The life span of these birds is very short. Some males do not live past October 1 and most live no more than 10 months and a female may live up to 20 months.

I got a lot of my information from these websites:

I enjoyed learning about the ring-neck pheasant after seeing how majestically he strutted in front of us. There are some nice pics of him on the sites above if you are like me and have never seen one.

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