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Published : 2012-09-01
Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked pheasants, also known as common pheasants, are native to Asia. The adult male is 76-89 cm in length with a long brown streaked black tail, accounting for almost 50 cm of the total length. The body plumage is barred bright gold and brown with green, purple and white markings. The head is bottle green with a small crest and distinctive red wattles. The neck is marked with a conspicuous white ring of 3 cm. The female is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over and measuring 53-63 cm long including a tail of around 20 cm. Juvenile birds have the appearance of the female with a shorter tail until young males begin to grow characteristic bright feathers on the breast, head and back at about 10 weeks after hatching.

While ring-necked pheasants are able short-distance fliers, they prefer to run. If startled however, they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed, with a distinctive "whirring" wing sound and often giving kok kok kok calls to alert other pheasants. Their flight speed is only 43-61 kilometers per hour when cruising but when chased they can fly up to 90 kilometers per hour.

Ring-necked pheasants feed solely on the ground but roost in sheltered trees at night. They eat a wide variety of animal and vegetable type-food, like fruit, seeds and leaves as well as a wide range of invertebrates, with small vertebrates like snakes, lizards, small mammals and birds occasionally taken.

The males are polygamous and are often accompanied by a harem of several females. Ring-necked pheasants nest on the ground, producing a clutch of around ten eggs over a two-three week period in April to June. The incubation period is about 23-26 days. The chicks stay near the hen for several weeks after hatching but grow quickly, resembling adults by only 15 weeks of age.

Strolling in loose flocks, ring-necked pheasants are frequently seen on campus in woodland and grassland, especially at dawn or dusk. The ring-necked pheasant, mascot of National Dong Hwa University, adds a touch of life and nature to the University.

Ring-necked Pheasant
Updated : 2018-09-20
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