Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Male Pheasant, Lammermuir Hills, Scotland, July 2002 - click for larger image

The Common Pheasant was distributed from the Black Sea across Asia and into China but it has been introduced into many countries beyond its natural range. It was probably introduced into Italy by the Romans and into Britain in the 11th or 12th century. It is both attractive and tasty and is a major game bird in many countries.

Female Pheasant, Lammermuir Hills, Scotland, July 2002 - click for larger image The birds introduced from China are of the sub-species Phasianus colchicus torquatus and have a white neck collar and grey rump. The nominate sub-species P. c. colchicus has a brown rump and no white collar. Both are present in Britain but many birds are hybrids.

The male, seen in photos 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 is unmistakable while the female in photos 2 and 5 is buff-brown with dark spots and a long tail.

Male Pheasant, Lammermuir Hills, Scotland, amy 2005 - click for larger image The two males in photos 6 and 7 were having a territorial dispute which involved some fighting with their spurs.
Male Pheasant, Lammermuir Hills, Scotland, amy 2005 - click for larger image
Female Pheasant, Lammermuir Hills, Scotland, amy 2005 - click for larger image
Pheasant, Monks Eleigh Suffolk, England, March 2010 - click for larger image
Pheasant, Monks Eleigh Suffolk, England, March 2010 - click for larger image
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